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When are halos like hula hoops?

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Every year at this time, I take out the Playmobil Nativity set, which has always been a big hit in our house since we bought it for Noah years ago. I think it has something to do with the fact that it’s out for only one month of the year, so it is eternally new. Chiara, however, has given us an exciting new twist on how to make the most of this toy.

As she plays with the pieces to the set, Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the rest of the gang often find themselves in very un-Nativity-like moments — careening through the house on the back of a flying camel, traversing over the the couch accompanied by My Pretty Pony, joining forces with other toy characters, like Buzz Lightyear.

Yesterday, as I was trying to gather all the tiny pieces — halos, myrrh, lanterns, stray beards lost by majestic magi — I asked Chiara to find the halo that belongs to one particular angel. She told me that the angel doesn’t always use the halo, that sometimes Jesus uses the halo as a hula hoop.

So there you have it. The photo above does not show Jesus actually using the halo hula hoop (he doesn’t have the hips for it), but you get the basic idea. Despite the silliness of the play, I continue to love the fact that my kids think there is nothing strange about sitting down and playing an imaginative game with Jesus and his family… I actually had to interrupt the writing of this post to chase down the cats who just ran off with the shepherd’s turban. I am not making that up. Everyone is in on the Nativity action in our house. If you have kids, this set (kings sold separately) is a great addition to the Advent and Christmas festivities.

This post originally ran on Dec. 9, 2009.

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