It’s not that I don’t have a tree, I have a lovely artificial one in the attic and really beautiful ornaments in the closet. There are other decorations in plastic tubs in the garage, waiting to be taken out. But they will stay put this year. The day I was thinking about getting everything out and set up, the floors needed to be cleaned and somehow, it just never happened.
My boss was teasing me about my lack of “Christmas spirit” when he heard this. Even though Christmas is only a week away, he told me I should still take the time to put everything up. Yet, even though I really do love seeing the decorations, it’s okay this year that it is only the Nativity that is set up. After all, the other items are simply seasonal decorations, while the Nativity speaks of the true reason we celebrate this day.
I don’t recall how long ago I got the idea to do this. It has been a least several years now. As I first set out my Nativity, I pick several spots in the living/dining areas and put (pregnant) Mary, Joseph, and the donkey in one place, the shepherds and their animals in another, and the magi with their camel (I love their camel!) in yet another. Within a day or two of setting them up, I initiate a conversation with my husband that might go something like this:
“I did. She’s pregnant – do you know when she is due?”
“She is – and you know, the rumors are she was only betrothed when she got pregnant. It’s amazing he didn’t divorce her or have her stoned! She claims this is a miracle baby. Really?”
And so it goes as we talk about what it would have been like – mostly telling the story from the perspective of the villagers.
The story continues through the month until on Christmas morning when instead of a pregnant Mary, she has a baby, and the shepherds come to see. Then on Jan 6, Epiphany, the magi come to visit.
It’s a fun way to remind ourselves of the events surrounding the birth of our Lord. Next year I might see about buying a non-pregnant woman who is not holding a baby to be my Mary and can put her out talking to the angel sometime in March to prolong the fun!
For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
Do you have Christmas traditions that remind you to celebrate the greatest gift ever given? Please share them in the comments.