Hands-On Tradition Connects With Kids

Didi Zayas

The real reason for the holiday season sometimes gets lost beneath the presents, parties and pie – especially for children.

But, this year, a new Christmas tradition points kids to the real reason we celebrate – Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross.

A Nest for the Savior is a new children’s book about a sparrow who finds the manger empty and fills it with a nest for Jesus. After reading the short story, children flip the book over to access the activity guide which gives them instructions to build their own nest for the Savior, using symbolic elements easily found around the house.

The book was written by local author Didi Zayas, who was previously the editor of The Good News, and illustrated by Deja Sessa, an artist from Hollywood, Florida, who currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas.

“As a child, I knew Christmas was about the birth of Jesus, but I never really knew why that was important,” says Zayas. “I didn’t connect Christmas with the Cross and eternal life. So, I created A Nest for the Savior to help kids see Jesus as more than just a baby in a manger.”

Children can build their nest for the Savior using a shoe box or other container as their manger. As they add elements like grass, ribbon and cotton balls to their nest they learn a little more about Jesus, the first Christmas and the Cross. For example, when they add cotton balls in place of wool, they learn that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

A Nest for the Savior is a great way to reinforce the real reason of Christmas and make it tangible for your children,” according to Faith Roehm from Conway, South Carolina. “Being a mom of three children, I so appreciate that the book teaches truth and encourages kids to use their imagination.”

A Nest for the Savior can be made all at once or as a 12-day Advent calendar. Project Artwork at Home, an online art school for children, has even created a free course centered around the tradition.

Kids can also share the Gospel by having their parents share a photo of their nest with friends and family on social media through A Nest for the Savior’s #BestNestContest.

Zayas says she wrote the book to share the whole Christmas story with children.

“The manger wasn’t the end of the story – it was the beginning,” she says. “Jesus died for our sins and rose again, and that’s the real reason we celebrate Christmas. I hope A Nest for the Savior helps kids understand the whole story of the Gospel and that they were created to tell the story.”


For more information and a free download of the activity guide, please visit www.ANestfortheSavior.com. A Nest for the Savior is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


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