Putting Jesus in the Creche – A Family Tradition

Advent is a time of waiting. One fun way to wait for the coming of Our Savior’s birthday is to set out our nativity sets, but hold back on placing Baby Jesus in the manger.

Mary and Joseph Figurines
Waiting patiently…
Manger Figureine

On Christmas Eve, when the waiting is almost over and it’s time to add Baby Jesus to the manger, you may as well make it a fun and meaningful family tradition! We do this by having a Baby Jesus Hunt! It’s just like an Easter egg hunt, only you’re looking for Baby Jesus. Doesn’t that sound like a great Christmas tradition?! 🙂

Baby Jesus Figurine

Here’s what you do:
Hide all the Baby Jesuses from your creche sets before you leave for Christmas mass. When you return from mass, have your kids search until they retrieve every Baby Jesus for all of your nativity sets. Make sure that each child has at least one. (If you’re at all obsessed with nativity sets like me, that should be no problem).

Baby Jesus Figurine

Then you sing “Away in a Manger” while your family processes from creche to creche adding Jesus to the manger.

Tucking Baby Jesus Figurine in Manger
After putting Jesus in the manger, have a blessing of the creche. You can print a copy of a Creche Blessing Here. Here’s a different creche blessing where you bless each piece separately. I love my new creche for this year! See how all the pieces have a different bible verse on them?
Manger Figurine
This set is called the Scripture Nativity Set and I remember seeing it at Wal-Mart last Christmas, but I couldn’t afford it. Luckily for me I found the same set (new in the box) at a yard sale last Summer! I was soooo excited! This year we also have a large Baby Jesus with a wooden manger from Catholic Child Catalog.
I am in love with this new Christmas decoration- it’s my favorite of all! We have His empty manger patiently awaiting Christ front and center in front of the (fake) fireplace.
Maner next to mantle

My children look forward to this tradition every year now! Does your family have a tradition for adding Jesus to the nativity set? I’d all love to hear about it! 🙂

More Nativity Resources For Families

You do not want to miss my nativity round-up for kids that include crafts, book suggestions, traditions, songs, printables, and more! Check it out now.

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The Advent Christmas Planner- available from Catholic Icing

I’ll be posting every day this week with ideas for celebrating Jesus’ Birthday! Don’t miss the rest of the series!

5 Days of Christmas Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday

Check out the other blogs participating in the “5 Days of Christmas” series this week!

A Slob Comes Clean – Getting Your Home Company Ready
Feels Like Home – Christmas Traditions
Somewhat Crunchy – Christmas with Dairy Allergies
Spell Outloud – Children’s Books
Mama’s Learning Corner – Children’s Crafts
Many Little Blessings – Edible Gifts
Sunflower Schoolhouse – Decorations
An Oregon Cottage – Christmas Cookies
Catholic Icing – Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday
The Traveling Praters – Traveling
The Homeschool Classroom – Gifts Kids Can Make
Mama’s Laundry Talk – Laundry Gifts


  1. My oldest son has been doing this all Advent. Hes like a bounty hunter. Its good he didnt work for Herod.

    BTW– Im all about popes so I have to remind everyone. B16 asked all the children of the world to say a prayer for him when they place the baby Jesus in the mangers

  2. we put Christ in the manger on Christmas morning. I love that Nativity scene and the large baby Jesus in the manger. Merry Christmas friend.

  3. The Towers Family says

    We do a blessing of our creche that is located here:


    The kids love blessing each figure with holy water.

    Our children's godparents started the tradition of giving them a nativity piece to their very own nativity every Christmas. So, when the kids leave our home they will have their very own nativity.

  4. We added the beautiful Manger and Baby Jesus from Catholic Child to our own collection this year as well! It is beautiful! (It reminds me so much of the set my Grandmother had when I was a child… I have such great memories of placing Baby Jesus in the manger at her house on Christmas Eve!) The Manger has been sitting at the base of our Christmas Tree and my children have been filling it with "hay" (as they offer sacrifices) in preparation for Christmas.

    I hope you and your family have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

  5. Christmas Blessings to you and your family! We also do a baby Jesus hunt and something similar to Jessica. This year we added a new tradition…Stations of the Manger that we are looking forward to! Peace and Joy this Holy Night:-)

  6. I noticed you have the little people Jesus with your held out Jesus’. That one I let the kids play with all during advent, but our advent calendar is a magnetic board (painted with a creche scene) with numbered doors all around. Each contains a piece of the nativity and I always have Jesus in number 24 so he’s last.

    My new favorite tradition is to go out on Christmas eve and put hay in our real creche (the feedbox on the side of our barn), so that Jesus has a soft bed. I grew up thinking the word “manger” ONLY had to do with the nativity. So when I married a farmer and they fed the cows by putting hay in the manger I finally made the connection. Yes – I’m a bit slow I guess. But I’m making sure my kids dont’ have the same problem! 🙂

  7. We always add Jesus when we get back from Mass, but I never thought of a hunt and most of the kids are too old for this now : ( Love this site – thank you sooo much. Great to hear about B16’s request – didn’t know that but will have to remember : )

  8. Honey @ Sunflower Schoolhouse says

    I love that you have so many nativity sets and how you incorporate them into your day (the hunt for baby Jesus). I think it is really important to weave our faith through our days. We are trying to do this with our family and our children. It makes it so much more meaningful for them.

  9. We gift wrap Jesus, complete in box with gold paper and special bow. Then it’s the first present we open on Christmas morning. Our best gift.

  10. I have that SAME nativity set except we’re missing the baby jesus lol

    • I love that nativity set, but last year my kids broke off Joseph’s hand and this year they cracked the manger. Grrr! Nothing stays nice at my house- lol!

  11. We leave cookies and milk for Santa by the Christmas tree and “Santa” leaves the baby Jesus by the partially eaten cookies for the youngest child in the house to put in the manger before any other Christmas morning activities.