Saturday, December 8, 2007
My Christmas Focus
My Nativity...actually, ONE of my nativities. ( Mark has requested that I put the wise men in another room of the house, because TECHNICALLY they were still a long ways off when Jesus was in the manger...I have not yet appeased him).
I Love this particular one, it is quite large and I bought it a few years back with birthday money from my dad. There is a mom story here...(I know I tell a lot of Mom stories at Christmas, but she was Christmas in so many ways...everything to do with Christmas was big and bright and colorful and abundant at mom's house. I said, after mom died, if she wasn't SOOOO bright, SOOOO welcoming and didn't do everything to the greatest of her abilities....she wouldn't have left such a large hole ).
When we were kids, mom made 2 large nativities similar to this one...only there were more pieces. One was for her sister, and one for her home. Over the years, we kids would each stake a claim on mom's nativity when she passed
Anyway, when mom was sick that last Christmas, she told me she was giving me the Nativity; but she was already leaving me her huge winter town and many of the other meaningful Christmas decorations...(I think she knew that I loved it all the way she loved it).
My brother at the time was not serving God, but his daughter had always wanted a Nativity and I knew that it would mean a lot to him, so I told mom that I desperately wanted the Nativity, but that I thought she should give it to Scott...which she did.
So, a number of years later, I remember shopping at Cosco, with very limited resources, but I had Birthday money from my dad that I hadn't spent yet. I saw this nativity displayed from another aisle, and thought, "if I have enough for money for that Nativity, I am buying it"...
when I got to the display, it was exactly the amount my dad had given me....
you can't imagine my pure joy!
At my house, we have many representations of Christmas
and all of it's forms, but front and center always as the main focus is Jesus. My nativities take the prominent places in my home, so that they cannot be forgotten in the fun and hustle and bustle. I have started keeping one of my smaller ones on the shelf behind my kitchen sink, so it is my focus even in the kitchen when I am scurrying about.
A few years ago, my neighbor's little girl was visiting Jianna as we were decorating, and repeatedly afterwards. She asked me questions about the nativity and especially baby Jesus, which I was happy to answer. One day she said, "Jenny, we don't have a baby Jesus at our house, will you buy me a baby Jesus"...Ohhhhh my heart strings....
I told her absolutely, I would buy her a baby Jesus.
It took almost a year to find a suitable nativity that this little girl could handle and arrange to her heart's delight...(but did not look like a cartoon, or too solemn and serious).
Before she moved away, I found one and told her mom the story and was able to give the little girl her promised Jesus.
I pray for them often that through the years He will become more than a cute Christmas ornament.
I know that in both of these homes, the Nativity as a symbol of Jesus is also a seed to add to many others that are in their hearts. Seeds that have been planted by many over the years and to which more will be added...that the truth behind Christmas will one day become their reality as well.