Use a galvanized swimming pool upside down and decorated with crepe paper etc. Looked nice when we did it.
Last year we built a big box (the size of our trailer), had a lid for it propped up on the box with a big bow on it, Then we put the manger scene as if it was what was in the box. We built this all out of chicken wire and tissue. Behind the gift box we had the cross with a crown of thorns and a purple cloth draped over it.
In the front of the trailer, over the goose neck of the trailer, we had a huge Christmas Tree. On the box we had a gift tag on each side which said, To: You, Love, God. On the bottom of the trailer we had written: "God's Gift to you". This year we want to add the world with the manger inside it and make it God's Gift To The World. We are hoping to make the world turn.
Make presents (big boxes) that a person could wear--being a walking present to go beside the float.
I'm a farm gal, so I would turn a small stock tank upside down and spray paint it for the cake. When you are done with it, flip it back over to be a stock tank again. The cattle won't care it was painted.
Can you obtain a big barrel of any sort? That could be covered with crepe paper of any color. Perhaps a large "candle" made of wood or cardboard for the top? btw, I also like the idea of person-sized gift boxes and posterboards with "Time," "Love," Talent," "Service," "Prayer," etc.
There's a wonderful CD by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Children's Choir with "Happy Birthday Jesus" sung by young children. It'd be nice to play on a battery powered cd player. You can get the CD at ChristianBooks.com. It's called "Christmas at the Brooklyn Tabernacle." God bless you for highlighting what Christmas is really about.
You could use giant boxes (from appliances) as the cake parts and paint and decorate them or for a more elaborate cake build the frame from wood and chicken wire then cover it in fabric to resemble frosting. Then you could use more boxes painted as gifts that people could stand/sit in to give themselves to Jesus.
The Three Wise men brought gifts to Jesus...
Also, have posters held by others bringing their gifts of time, talent, & tithe.
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