For weeks we worked slowly to fill a manger. Each time the children performed an act of kindness, made someone’s bed, cleared the table, let a sibling have that coveted spot on the couch for stories, they placed a pinch of hay between wood. The days were filled with plenty of non-hay-earning acts. Ugly words, pushing and punching. But there was effort. And each time I saw goodness, I tried to point it out, reward with a handful of hay.