Friday, December 9, 2011

Nativity in the Woods :: A Puzzle for Advent

As I mentioned in one of my Preparing for Advent posts this year, I had ordered a new puzzle for the children to work on this Advent.   This was their 4th 1,000 piece puzzle in the past year... They started with the Our Lady of Guadalupe Puzzle last Advent, completed the Last Supper Puzzle during Lent, and then worked on a Good Shepherd Puzzle during the Easter Season.

For this Advent I ended up deciding on a Nativity in the Woods 1,000pc Puzzle.  Originally I had planned to give it to them on the first Sunday of Advent, but ended up waiting until just before bedtime on the feast of St. Andrew, November 30th.   Of course they wanted to get started right away!

Every chance they got, both early in the morning and before bedtime, I would always find someone working on the puzzle!   It was so cute to see the little goals they would set:  they all worked together on finishing the border, Rascal set out to complete the owl in the bottom right corner, Twinkle Toes loved working on the Nativity scene, Chiquita began on the angel, while Captain started on the Stained Glass windows and some of the other animals.   Snuggles enjoyed watching, and sorting pieces, while Rose pointed out the "Baby Jesus!!!" at every opportunity!   

A little help from Uncle David after Mass on Sunday

"Look Mama, there's baby Jesus!"


I couldn't believe how fast they were completing the puzzle!   By the feast of St. Nicholas, just one week later, they ended up finishing the puzzle after our St. Nicholas Day brunch.   We seemed to be missing two pieces (which I had been worried about, especially due to little Miss Rose's interest in the puzzle) but Captain quickly found them under the couch.

This was definitely their favorite puzzle yet, and though they were all very excited to complete it, they were also sad to be done already.  

I think we might pull out the Our Lady of Guadalupe Puzzle today, and then I also ended up ordering this beautiful Holy Family Jigsaw Puzzle (which I ran across after linking to all the other puzzles I was considering in that first post), to use as one of our O Antiphon gifts this year.  That way they will have another to work on during the Christmas season!


  1. wow, that's inspirational. I would like to do that puzzle. My son steers clear of puzzles.

  2. just wondering how you *do* keep little fingers off of pieces and destroying hard work. And what do you do with the puzzles when all is said and done? Glue / frame them? or put them back in the box to do again?

    Great post Jessica! Love all their sweet faces!

  3. Rose is our tough one. She is so sweet, but constantly getting into things and exploring. We have actually had to start assigning "shifts" so that someone is watching her at all times. It only takes her minutes to empty out the bathroom drawers, change her clothes, re-do her own hair, find a marker and color her legs (all examples from this past week). However, for the most part, with this puzzle, she was pretty good about just looking and not touching.

    As for when they are done... I leave them out on the table for a little while, and then put all the pieces into a ziplock bag - sometimes putting a color coded dot on the back of each, as suggested in the Smart Martha Book - before placing them back in the box to save to do again someday.

  4. That's beautiful. Your children are expert puzzlers now! You may have to upgrade them to a 2000 piece puzzle for the next one!


  5. Wow, that is incredible! I never considered trying such large puzzles with younger children (my kids are about the same ages as yours), but this is inspiring :) So neat to read about their teamwork, too. What a great idea!

  6. That puzzle is beautiful! Your little Rose sounds like my 2 1/2 year old. I feel like I'm constantly asking, "Where's ___? Go find your sister!" :)

  7. So much fun! I think I need to add some of these puzzles under our tree!

  8. Love these puzzles. I could only find old fashioned christmas store window puzzles, but i should have looked online. Next year I will.
    We have not started ours yet, because I did not know where to put it, but of course it could go right on a card table in our family room!

  9. your children are really skilful, and little Rose looks very cute and funny on some pictures.


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