"MANGER NAILS" -- Author Unknown

Real Reason for the Season Every year on my Christmas tree, I hang a nail for us to see. For the nails of the manger where the Christ Child lay Foreshadow those piercing His body as His life drained away.

A reminder of love midst the green of the tree Of the gift that was given for you and for me. Hanging there brightly on its little red cord, Telling of Jesus, our Savior, our Lord.

Another version for a set of nine nails - I have lost the Bible verses that go with it though, and am looking for them.

The meaning: Each of the nine 2" pewter nails corresponds to one of the nine Bible prophesies that Christ fulfilled through His life, death and resurrection. Allow each family member hang a nail as the Scripture is read.

The poem:

Those are the Manger Nails,
far more than Bible tales,
they speak of a promise fulfulled.
Nine of the prophecies say,
a King one day would lay,
asleep in a manger bed.
Built with nails such as these,
for the Master of the Seas,
who would walk where fish only swim.
So, each Christmas I try,
to hang these nails high,
where all can see them plain.
And I read what was told,
as each nail I do hold,
before placing it upon a branch.
For His bed I recall is no longer a stall,
but in fact is the center of my heart.

The Prophacies from the Bible verses can be found here:

The legend of the nail is a very ancient story indeed. It originated from England from an author writing story tales at Christmas time for children across the world. He wrote a story about a little elf working for santa in the toy shoppe. All the other elves were very productive, making toys consistently and accurately. But there was this particuliar little elf that just wasn't quite cut out to be "an elf". Everytime he tried & tried to hammer a nail in a toy it would just fall out, disappointing santa & his staff. This is when he just decided to save all his misused nail & stuffed them in his red & green apron. He always knew he really wanted to be a dentist. Finally the day came when he did open up his own dentistry & used all his nails for some good bridge work for all the aging elves. They were grateful indeed. This is the blessed legend of the nail.

Mrs. Claus

You may have to wash your nails before turning them into ornaments. Some nails come with a greasy resin on them so you can pound them into concrete easier.

So, after your nails are washed and dried, cut 6-8 inch lengths of ribbon and dab a small drop of glue from a glue gun right where the knot will fall when you tie it. Tie the ribbon in a simple square knot toward the top of the nail. Masonry nails have a sort of "lip" at the top which will prevent the ribbon from falling off the top when you're tying it.

After the glue dries (1-2 minutes), take the loose ends and tie a slip knot about 3 inches from the top of the nail. Snip off excess ribbon.

Enclose a note with the nails, explaining what they are. Explain that each nail represents a prophecy from the Old Testament which Jesus fulfilled with his birth in Bethlehem. I made sets of 10 Manger Nails this year and used the following as a resource for my prophecies (the commercial version doesn't seem to come with Bible references).


In a letter I attached to the prophecies, I invited my friends and family to have each member of their families read the relevent scriptural passages and how they were fulfilled with each nail hung on the tree. I didn't really like the poem myself, but if you want to look at it, you can see it at the following link. I thought my notes were much more personal, clearer and more meaningful than the poem.


Peace, Ann

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