At swHw, we love introducing you to incredible women who are using their gifts, talents and abilities for God’s glory. Last year, I met Allison, and I instantly adored her and her vision in creating the Christmas tradition, The Giving Manger. Read this blog from her below, and make sure you use our discount code below if you decide to bring this Christ-centered tradition into your home this year.

Christmas is one of our favorite holidays, filled with fun and festive traditions. But we often felt like the true meaning of Christmas and the spirit of giving was getting lost in the craziness.  We wanted to find a fun and interactive way to help our kids and families focus and learn about the true meaning of Christmas.

A trip down memory landereminded me of a tradition a childhood friend of mine did in her home.  They had a simple wooden manger with a bundle of straw next to it.  I remember asking her what it was for.

“To give gifts of service back to Christ,” she said. That was it. Just a simple tradition that I didn’t forget.

I knew this memory was the answer to my prayers, and  I wanted to share it with others. My sister, my childhood best friend and I came together and put pen to paper, wood to the saw and clay in our hands. We wanted this tradition to include everything a family would need to bring this tradition into their home and LOVE it.

First up: The book.  It helps families understand the tradition and get excited.  Our story, paired with the beautiful Illustrations by artist Emily King, tell the story of a family with two children who were promised greater gifts at Christmas time.  But they are devastated when their extra gifts were not what they expected. They learn that these extra gifts will be gifts that they will be giving.  Gifts of service.

Up next: The Manger. Once the story has been read, the baby is placed somewhere visible—maybe the center of the kitchen table…really anywhere that will remind the family to serve.

You’ll be surprised by all the simple and creative service ideas your kids and family will come up with.

Last, on Christmas day, the baby Jesus is placed in the manger.  It’s a moment to stop reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and all the service, love and joy that was felt this season.  It’s at this moment each year that my family knows and feels the true meaning of Christmas.

The Giving Manger has brought perspective, peace and joy into our homes each Christmas season. It helps us focus on Christ and others before ourselves.

The support we have received has been overwhelming.  It has been so wonderful to see how many people want the same thing as us: to bring Christ back into Christmas.

“You did it my children the manger is full.  Full of service and love the baby it now holds.  Baby Jesus had no crib for a bed, but you have him this manger filled with love instead.”

Allison Hottinger

co-creator, The Giving Manger


Use code: SHEWORKSHISWAY to get 15% off as you start this tradition in your home. Get your Giving Manger set here. 

Do you have a swHw story you’d like to share with us? Contact us to share what God is doing in your business/ministry to get glory. We’re always looking for incredible women to feature to our community!