...or, to be honest, almost any Christmas-related Bible passage.
We at St James Muswell Hill actually managed to get two uses out of this visual
aid, and as it was constructed using bits of
Mega Maker, that means it was
twice-recycled within only two days.
Anyway, in the Christmas Day talk,
Chris Green our vicar spoke about the best Christmas present of all. Obviously
it was inside this box, and it turned out to be ... an Easter egg!
point was that Jesus was born not just to be a tiny baby announced by angels,
but to grow up and live, and then to die on the cross and rise again from the
dead. And in this way we are saved from our sins and reconciled with God our
Father for eternity.
hear the talk on St James's web site.
day, at the (second) Christmas Eve crib service, all the characters in the
drama emerged from the present. This is why it has a door on one side and a
fold-down flap on the other.
I believe the drama was written by
Scripture Union, but I
could be wrong. It involved a group of children "discovering" this huge present
and looking inside to find out the true meaning of Christmas. The characters
that emerged initially had a peripheral connection with Christmas (shoppers),
then we had a postman, then sheep and shepherds and angels and finally Joseph,
Mary and Jesus. Each was heralded by a few appropriate bars of
Again you can
hear the drama, and Chris's talk which followed it, on St
James's web site.
Making the present
Well, it really is simpler if you start with a Mega Maker first.
In the unlikely event that you don't have an old Mega Maker in your loft, this
is what you need:
- 8 pieces of MDF, each 1200mm x 600mm x 3mm thick.
- 12 pieces of wood, each 1200mm long x 44mm x 20mm (planed
size), plus a few little bits.
- Six hinges.
- Several small metal brackets.
- Lots of screws.
- Red emulsion paint.
- Gold spray paint.
- A bit of cardboard for a stencil.
- Some gold paper. I used
Art Paper but gold wrapping paper would do.
- Some coloured lights. I used battery-powered lights so there
were no trailing mains leads.
- Sticky tape.
It wasn't terribly difficult to make a box using bits of wood and
pieces of MDF. I just screwed the wood to the edges of the MDF - the wood
stiffened the panels and joined one piece to another. Because I was
using an old Mega Maker, I put the painted sides inside the present. If they
ever need to be a Mega Maker again I won't need to do a lot of
Sometimes (eg around the frame on the back of the present) I
joined the bits of wood with metal brackets.
There was no MDF on the
back of the present - it was open so the characters in the drama could walk
through. On the right hand side there was a door so it needs some hinges. I
fixed small bits of wood to the MDF and screwed the hinges to the wood - the
MDF was too thin to screw the hinges to directly.
On the left hand side
more hinges were used to allow the side to fold down, as in the diagram.
Actually this still left a fixed panel 600mm high and the children needed steps
to climb over it. Perhaps a second door would have been better.
needed to be painted with "difficult surfaces primer" because it is very
porous. Then I painted it red with emulsion paint. I cut out a star template
from a bit of cardboard and sprayed on some stars.
The whole thing was
dismantled and taken to church in my VW Beetle (you do have a VW Beetle, don't
you?) After I put it back together, I added a gold paper ribbon and some
coloured lights. I attached the lights with red sticky tape (electrical tape)
so it didn't show.
present. It's the one at the back.