Natalie Ard wanted to start a new family tradition that celebrated the true meaning of Christmas but couldn’t find quite what she wanted. So, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Her answer: The Christmas Star From Afar, a painted wood Nativity set that becomes a daily hide-and-seek game, allowing children to "follow" the star, much like the Wise Men did in the Bible.
"I wanted my daughter to have fun but also to understand the holiday’s importance," the Alamo resident says.
On evenings leading up to December 25, parents can hide the star; children find it the next morning and move the Wise Men to the star’s new location. The set includes a book, which Ard wrote and illustrated.
Ard launched Star From Afar two years ago and sold 2,000 within the first seven weeks that it was online. Now, it is sold in stores across the country.
"After receiving support from other moms and families looking to tie the traditional story in with [their] Christmas traditions, I made the decision to just do it," says Ard. "It’s become something very close to my heart and a true passion."
Sets cost $35 and come in light and dark skin tones, and in English and Spanish. starfromafar.com.