Mary on the Mantel

Celebrate Advent with Mary on the Mantel! 

Mary on the Mantel now has a full kit! You can purchase it here. To purchase the book and activity kit only, please click here. To purchase the Mary Doll only, please click here. To purchase the Mary's Motherhood Set, please click here

Mary on the Mantel is your new favorite family Advent tradition. This is a fun, interactive way to help kids prepare for the arrival of baby Jesus. Mary on the Mantel has everything you need to simplify your Advent without losing any of the meaning! 

mary on the mantel elf on the shelf christian

How it works

Each day Mary is moved around your house as she prepares for her new baby. Mary is busy "nesting" and doing simple, ordinary tasks (like cooking, cleaning, visiting others, etc). When the children find her in the morning, Mary delivers a small act of kindness that they can perform that day. The note can be tucked into the tiny tote bag that comes with our Mary dolls.

mary on the mantle advent christian elf on the shelf

Our goal

The idea is that we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus in the manger by loving others. With the Elf on the Shelf, it is said that he tells Santa if little boys and girls are good or bad. We really encourage you to stay away from this concept of Mary telling Jesus if children are good or bad, and rather teach them that Mary is a friend, a companion, a confidant who helps them be more compassionate.

mary on the mantel mantle christian elf on the shelf

How to incorporate Mary in your day

There are so many cute ways you can immerse your children in the Advent and Christmas story. As it gets closer to Christmas, Mary can receive a piece of mail that tells them they need to travel for the census. She can then begin the journey to Bethlehem. The day before there might even be a sign that says No Room in the Inn! You can also make Mary's belly "grow". Add paper towels, fabric, or a little pillow underneath her dress, or purchase our motherhood kit (this comes with the full set, if you purchased it). 

mary on the mantel

We know there are so many responsibilities right now and being the Mary mover might feel like just another added thing. Hopefully this list below makes it easy for you to do. Pick and choose acts that are age appropriate for your children and of course make up your own, if you wish! 

Ideas for Mary's Preparation

  1. Mary sets out Advent wreath and candles with matches
  2. Make a little baby shower scene for Mary
  3. Mary sits by a home altar or bed praying
  4. Mary rests with her feet up
  5. Mary reads the Bible
  6. Mary drinks a cup of tea
  7. Mary tidies toys
  8. Mary does the laundry (washes and folds baby clothes)
  9. Mary visits Elizabeth
  10. Mary receives a letter with the census announcement
  11. Mary rides a donkey (or another animal)
  12. Mary packs a suitcase
  13. Mary reads a book about having a baby
  14. Mary cooks
  15. Mary sweeps
  16. Mary writes Christmas cards
  17. Mary prepares the tree
  18. Mary hangs stockings
  19. Mary sits on the Mantel
  20. Mary wraps presents
  21. Mary goes to the doctor
  22. Mary makes the bed
  23. Mary dusts
  24. Mary goes grocery shopping
  25. Mary bakes cookies
  26. Mary reads a books
  27. Mary sews a baby blanket
  28. Mary eats lots of carbs!
  29. Mary soaks her feet in a bath
  30. Mary playing music or singing
  31. Mary gets a prenatal massage
  32. Mary naps
  33. Mary stretches over a ball
  34. Mary gardens/waters plants
  35. Mary cooks enough food to fill the manger
  36. Mary eats ice cream
  37. Mary holds things in her heart
  38. Mary notices something beautiful
  39. Mary serves something
  40. Mary sings the magnificat
  41. Mary writes a letter to Elizabeth
  42. Mary practices swaddling
  43. Mary takes a bath
  44. Mary in lamaze class
  45. Mary does dishes
  46. Mary talks to baby Jesus in her womb
  47. Mary researches the best route to Bethlehem on a map.

Ideas for Acts of Kindness

  1. Go through toys that you don’t use anymore to donate to a foster home.
  2. Go through your clothes to donate things you don’t wear anymore.
  3. Ask your mom for an extra chore that you can do to help.
  4. Make Christmas cards for your grandparents.
  5. Write a letter to someone who is in the military.
  6. Do a chore for someone without them knowing.
  7. Call your grandparents to say hi and ask about their day.
  8. Clean your room.
  9. Set the table for dinner.
  10. Take out the trash.
  11. Bring your neighbors’ garbage cans up for them.
  12. Give your parents extra hugs.
  13. Send drawings or cards to a nursing home.
  14. Rake leaves, shovel snow or do a little yardwork/weeding for your neighbor.
  15. Help a sibling clean up (or with homework or anything)
  16. Give someone your undivided attention.
  17. Pick a flower for someone.
  18. Write a poem for someone.
  19. Make mom or dad a cup of tea (for older kids)
  20. Tell your friends something you like about them.
  21. Pick out a toy that will be given to a child in need.
  22. Grocery shop for foods to donate to the local food pantry.
  23. Bake cookies for a neighbor.
  24. Say something genuine and kind to a family member.
  25. Write a letter to Jesus.
  26. Write a thank you note to your teacher.
  27. Do a chore you don't normally do without being asked.
  28. Read a book to your younger sibling.
  29. Deliver a surprise treat to a neighbor.
  30. Make a Christmas card for a parish priest and hand deliver it after Mass.
  31. Write notes/cards to elderly and homebound in your parish.
  32. Send some snail mail to friends.
  33. Learn a new prayer.
  34. Pray for refugee families as a family.
  35. Do a sibling's chores for the day.
  36. Donate baby clothes to a crisis pregnancy center.
  37. Send a hand written letter to a quarantined family member.
  38. Make a gratitude list.
  39. Write a thank you note.
  40. Share your favorite toy with a sibling.
  41. Look in the newspaper for someone to pray for.
  42. Learn the Hail Mary in a different language.
  43. Let your sibling go FIRST at something.
  44. Make a prayer list.
  45. Play a game a sibling wants.

We can't wait to see how you integrate this new family tradition into your home!

Share your Mary on the Mantel journey on social media with the hashtag #maryonthemantel and be sure to tag us @beaheartdesign !! We will be sharing your photos throughout the month.  


Looking for more inspiration on how to celebrate the Liturgical seasons and feast days? 

Living The Seasons: Simple Ways To Celebrate The Beauty Of Your Faith Throughout The Year is a full-color guide to creatively celebrate our faith. Each page is filled with beautiful inspiration with effortless directions to celebrate feast days, holy days and seasons within the Church. This will be your resource for living liturgically! Now available for to order on our website


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I cannot wait to get my Granddaughter a Mary On The Mantel! Such a better way to prepare for Christmas than the elf! My daughter-in-law teaches at a private catholic school and she wants one for her classroom also!

Carla Limbert

Please notify me when more dolls are availablez

Penny Michalak

Love the idea God blessed you with. Elf on shelf makes kids sad & scared. Thank you


I really want a Mary on the Mantle ❤️‼️
White or Hispanic
When are you expecting more ?
Could you text when you get more in ?

Christina Hughes

Please notify me i love this great idea of mary on the mantel

Maria sosa

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