Thursday, December 05, 2013

First Things First at Christmas

I love Christmas. If I can get beyond the busyness of the season. Some of the things that help me move to the peace and stillness of the season are the Nativity scenes. Not only do they calm my frenzy of activity and conquering all I need to do, but they point me straight to the truth behind the holiday:
Jesus. 
Immanuel. 
God with us.

The truth of God's grace and love manifested through His Son's coming to Earth, for us, for me, is enough to make me stop every time.


For this reason, the first Christmas decorations that come out are the Nativity scenes. Each is special and treasured.

I have a small set that I brought back from Ecuador, and it sits on my kitchen window sill--it's probably my favorite simply because it came from home. It's small and simple. The kids often like to arrange the snowmen and penguins around the manger scene because they worship Jesus too.

Then there's the set that Jim brought home from Kenya, when he was there on a missions trip just a couple weeks before our youngest was born. This set, with the long faces, isn't pretty, but it resembles the Masai people who carved it, and that's where the beauty is for me. Yes, the wise men pieces are up, and I understand that they weren't at the manger that night, but I can't bear to not put them up, so they're there, too. Besides, when I was a girl, the wisemen were at the manger...until Mom quit putting them out because technically, they weren't there that night. But I missed them. Those wise men traveled such a great distance to worship Jesus and they teach me so much--especially lessons to stop what I was doing and go to worship Jesus--regardless of the time it costs me and distance I might have to go mentally. It's worth the effort. Every. single. time.

The kids' favorite Nativity set, by far, is the set my parents gave us. Mom hunted out a kid-friendly set that will last for years even with constant kid-handling. She found this at a craft bazaar and for a couple of years she added pieces to my set.

This one goes on our school cabinet which is right in the middle of the kitchen, dining room, and living room. Rarely does a day go by that it stays the same because the kids are constantly rearranging it--even now that they're older.

It will be fun to introduce this one to my grandgirls this year. Another generation to whisper over it as they rearrange it.

There's just something about Nativity scenes that draw me in. I can understand why my little ones would stand at the school cabinet and stare at the manger scene for a long time, not moving, just gazing. I feel that same pull, and I'm so thankful.

May we always be like the shepherds and wisemen who stopped what they were doing and went to Jesus to see and worship.



10 comments:

  1. Hi Patty! You're absolutely right. There's something special about Nativity sets, especially ones with extra meaning. And I'm with you. Factual or not, the wise men will be standing next to it! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your Nativity sets, Patty. They are beautiful.

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  3. I love nativity scenes, too. And even if the Wise Guys weren't there that night, they were still there when he was little, worshiping him, so I'm glad you include them. I do too.

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  4. I love your Nativity sets, Patty! I think I like the kids' one the best though...especially the little black sheep. Reminds me that God created us all and no matter what, He still loves us. And wait a minute...."grandgirls?" Did I miss something? When did you get grandgirls?? ;-]

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  5. Love them ALL. Have two up this year, and I LOVE having them.

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  6. I would have adored your children friendly Nativity set when I was little. I would have arranged them for hours. Wonderful Christmas post!

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  8. Love your nativity scenes. Each one weaves its own story and memory. Thanks for sharing them with us.

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  9. Wow, I love Nativity scenes too! Could go broke collecting them and crosses LOL!
    Lovely post. It is added to my Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelasthibodea/2013-holly-jolly-christmas-blog-hop/

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  10. Love your nativity scenes, Patty! We had a kid proof one made out of cloth. :)
    Thanks for sharing.

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