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“Look, Justin!” cried Ellie. “See the snowmans?”
Justin turned and looked where his little sister was pointing. Up on the store shelf sat bunches of funny snowman decorations. Some had goofy hats, some were on skis, and one of them looked like it was made out of marshmallows! “Hey, those are great!” said Justin, smiling.
Justin’s mom tossed one more item into her full shopping cart then said, “We better get going. I’ve got some Christmas baking to do.”
“I want a snowman, please!” Ellie reached up toward the shelf where the snowmen sat.
“Oh, those are cute, aren’t they?” said Mom.
“I love them! Can I have one, please?” Ellie begged.
“I don’t think we’ll get one today, but maybe later,” Mom replied. “We need to go home now.”
Ellie frowned. “I just love them, Mommy,” Ellie tried to explain.
When they all got home, Justin’s mom went straight to the kitchen and began mixing up cookie dough. “Justin, do you and Ellie want to help decorate the cookies?”
“Sure!” Justin exclaimed. “Especially if I can lick some frosting.”
“Me, too!” said Ellie, climbing up on a chair.
Mom set out decorations for the cookies: red and green sprinkles, colored sugar, little red candies, and marshmallows.
Justin opened the package of marshmallows and poured some in a bowl. “Snowmans!” Ellie shouted joyfully.
“What? Those aren’t snowmen,” said Justin. Then he remembered how one of the snowmen looked like it was made with marshmallows. “Oh, yeah. They do look like snowman pieces, don’t they?” Justin stacked up three marshmallows like a snowman body then flicked them with his finger to make them all fall down. Ellie clapped her hands with glee.
Later that evening, the family set up a Christmas tree and decorated the living room. “Ellie,” asked Justin, “you wanna help me set up the manger scene?”
Ellie shook her head. She was too busy searching the boxes for snowmen. “Here’s your pink star,” said Dad. “Do you want to put it on the tree?”
Ellie looked at the star then shook her head. Last year, the star was all she wanted. But this year, she wanted a snowman.
All week long, Ellie kept thinking about snowmen.
“Ellie, you’re snowman crazy,” said Justin one morning at breakfast.
Ellie stuffed some toast into her mouth. “Snowman cwazy,” she chanted as she ate.
“Wow! Ellie’s driving me bonkers,” Mom said. “Every day it’s snowman this and snowman that.”
“It would be nice if she could understand what Christmas is all about,” said Dad. “But she’s still little; it’ll take time before she gets it.”
Justin thought about that as he crunched his cereal. “I like this cereal,” he said around a mouthful. “It’s got marshmallows in it. Yum!” Suddenly, Justin got an idea! But he kept it secret. He finished up his cereal then asked to be excused.
Quietly, Justin tiptoed to the cupboard where Mom kept the bag of marshmallows. He grabbed the bag and sneaked into the living room. Justin crept over to the manger scene. He took out the statues of Mary and Joseph and the manger with the baby Jesus. Then he put little stacks of marshmallows in their places. When he was finished, he sneaked quietly back to the kitchen and put the marshmallows away.
It wasn’t long before Justin’s mom discovered the strange characters in the manger scene. “Justin! Ellie!” she called. The kids came running. Mom pointed to the manger scene. “What happened?”
Ellie stood on her tiptoes to see the manger scene. “Snowmans!” she squealed.
Justin grinned. Suddenly, Mom understood that Justin was responsible and decided to play along. “Wow! There are snowmen in the manger scene. That’s pretty neat, Ellie,” said Mom.
“But Ellie, where’s baby Jesus?” Justin asked. Ellie looked at the manger scene again and gasped. “Baby Jesus! He’s gone,” she said, frowning.
“Hmm. Where could he be?” Justin looked around then pointed at a marshmallow lying by itself on a table. “Look, Ellie, there’s a snowman piece. And another. . . and another.” Justin pointed to the marshmallows that formed a path leading from the room. “Let’s follow them, Ellie.”
Ellie and Justin followed the path into the family room where it stopped by a chair. Ellie reached under the chair and pulled out a small statue. “It’s the mommy!” she said happily.
“Right, it’s Mary,” said Justin. Then he pointed at another marshmallow path to follow. It led Ellie right to the statue of Joseph.
“But we still need Jesus, right Ellie?” Justin said. Ellie nodded. “Yup, we still need baby Jesus, ’cause he’s ‘portant.”
“That’s right. Jesus is very important,” agreed Justin. The last marshmallow path led them to the Christmas tree. Ellie crouched down and peered under the tree. Tucked between the gifts lay the little manger statue with the baby Jesus.
“He’s here!” Ellie dove for the manger and held it up triumphantly. “Found you, Jesus!” She ran back to the manger scene. “These don’t go here,” she said, handing the marshmallow snowmen to Justin. Ellie put the Mary, Joseph, and manger pieces back in their proper places. “There!” she said proudly.
Justin and Ellie called their parents to come into the living room. Ellie grabbed her mom’s hand and led her to the manger scene. “See? I fixed it.”
“Oh, but what about the snowmen, Ellie?” asked Mom.
“I like snowmans,” Ellie explained, “but Jesus is better!”
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.