I’ll admit that I love this time of year. There is something just so incredibly holy about waiting and preparing for this King to be born. And to be born in a manger of all places; the unlikeliest of places for baby Jesus to be born but that is exactly where he comes into the world.
When Mom and Dad were still together, they did everything to make sure my sister and I had a great holiday season. I only remember some of the gifts we received but I do remember who we were with. It was more important to spend time with family then the gifts we received. They taught us the true meaning of celebrating this season. I remember when I was in 5th grade and my sister was in 2nd grade when they bought both of us our very first Bibles. Andrea and I were so excited for those Bibles that one day when Mom and Dad went out, we took a peak at what was in those beloved Christmas packages. I’m almost ashamed to admit it now, but we opened up those gifts, took a peak and rewrapped them!
I do enjoy giving gifts but this season is about the waiting, longing and preparing for this King who comes into the world. When I was in college, I bought my very first Nativity scene; a nativity scene of my very own. It is a simple piece; only five pieces and all glass. But that simple Nativity caught my eye in the christian bookstore and I had to have it. I bought it and took it back to my dorm room where I immediately set it up. That nativity started my nativity collection and each of these nativities are reminders to me of why we celebrate Emmanuel “God with Us!”
|My Very First Nativity|
Yes, you read that right. I collect Nativities. The collection is a wonderful reminder to me of why we celebrate. In fact, if you ever been to my house, you would know that I keep one up all year round. Some friends and I visited another friend and noticed that she had a nativity up in her office. My friend asked why and she asked, “Should we just celebrate Jesus one day a year.” When I heard her answer, I knew that from then on I would keep one up to remind me to celebrate Jesus all year through. I have nativities from different parts of the world. I have Nativities given to me from so many different people. Each one has it’s own unique story.
|A handpainted Spanish Nativity that my friend J
bought while she was living in Guatemela!
Today as I put them out, I was once again reminded of where each one came from and the person who gave it to him. I found myself stopping, holding the nativity in my hand, feeling it’s texture and taking in it’s beauty just like I believe Mary took in every scent of her new son, took in each of his features and realized whose mother she was to be!
|The special Angel Nativity Scene
given to me by my Aunt C.
God sent God’s son into the world as this beautiful gift who wasn’t afraid to turn the world upside down. My aunt C gave me a nativity that she bought for my Grandma while Grandma was living in the nursing home. My Aunt didn’t realize I collected Nativities but one day I must have mentioned it in one of our conversations. Not long after, the nativity arrived at my front door with a note about how this gift was always meant for me.
Every time I look at this gift I am reminded of the angel’s words to Mary. “Do not be afraid.” God sent God’s son as a promise of peace and hope in the world especially in a world that is broken. And trusting in Emmanuel “God with Us”, this Advent season, may we take the time to take in the beauty of this season and remember the true reason for the season.
|Only a fraction of my Nativity collection|