Today, day 4 of our family’s Five Favorite Christmas stories, I want to introduce you to a book our family has loved for many years. Mary’s Treasure Box, written by Carolyn Walz Kramlich and illustrated by Walter Porter, presents a different side of Mary the mother of Jesus, one we don’t often consider. In this story Mary is a grandmother now, and she delights in spending time with her granddaughter Hannah. As the anniversary of Jesus’ birth draws near, Hannah asks her grandmother to once again tell her the story of Jesus. In answer to Hannah’s question, Mary pulls out a very special box in which she has kept precious keepsakes of Jesus from the time of her son’s birth. As Hannah lifts each item from the box – a small amount of grey wool, a bit of scented oil called frankincense, a gold bracelet, and more – Mary takes time to tell Hannah the meaning of each item she has saved and how it reminds her of her son Jesus.
At the time we added this story to our Christmas book collection, I was excited to make this story come alive for our children. Poking around a thrift store, I found a worn wooden chest that fit the role of “treasure box” perfectly. I dug through my craft supplies and found some batting which I colored grey with a few strokes of a permanent marker to represent sheep wool. I found some small bits of leftover straw from a fall decoration, a cloth napkin, and then added a simple gold bracelet I no longer wore. With these and a few more creative items, I quickly found everything needed to match the Treasure Box items. Whenever we would read this story to our children, they would open the treasure box and pull out each item as it was mentioned, helping us again to remember the story of Jesus.
With Christmas just four days away, you might find yourself strapping on your fictitious seatbelt and hanging on for the bumpy ride to the holiday finish line! Maybe, instead of running around looking for that one last toy, you and your child could create your own treasure box for this story. Mary’s Treasure Box will soon become an annual favorite as your children or grandchildren find each item in the treasure box they have created. And these memories might very well outlast the memory of any last-minute toy you could find.
Hello! I’m Debbie — Lover of Jesus, Pastor’s Wife, Mom, Encourager, Hobby Gardener and passionate about the simple pleasures of life.