Finally, I was big enough! When my mom gave me permission to take the nativity set out of the Christmas Box and place it on the foyer table, I ran! I was about six years old and delighted to help decorate the house for Christmas. Putting the barn, animals, Joseph and Mary and Baby Jesus just right on the entry table was a big responsibility. I remember spending about half an hour arranging and rearranging this centerpiece for the Christmas Season so that I could see the infant Christ every day when I came home from school. From that year on, I had the honor of arranging the manager and its Holy inhabitants just so.
As I became a mom myself, the tradition of the Nativity Set continued to take on importance as this Holy Season approached. As my children have grown, I have allowed them to take part in making our home decorative and restful for the December celebrations.
One thing remained a constant through all of our military moves across oceans and back: The nativity set placed on a table in the foyer to greet all who enter our home. Written on the outside of the Christmas tree box in my husband’s block print would be the child responsible for placing the star on top of the tree. Also noted would be which side of the tree skirt faced up: red or green? The child in charge of the star would turn the tree skirt the correct sunny side up while the remaining children would set up the Nativity.
On our last Christmastide living in Europe, we found ourselves at our favorite Alpine town, Oberammergau. This snow-laden Bavarian town is known for its wood carvers. On my shopping list for some years during our European tour of duty, was a hand carved Creche. Finding the perfect shop, my family and I entered and chose just the right manger setting and all the animals a Jerusalem babe might hear upon entering his new hometown. We also purchased items that represented our family and the places we’d lived with the military. Baskets of bread from Germany, tiny carved baskets of fish from Italy. An hour later, we left the woodcarver’s shop with just the right Nativity to enjoy for years to come.
While our family’s tradition at Christmas is the preeminence of Nativity in our foyer, it is a representation of the Presence we feel all year long. Messiah, Savior of the World, come as a babe for sinners such as me. That all might be saved. We look for His return as we celebrate His birth again, with the nativity in the foyer.
About Kellie Coombs:
Kellie lives in the Virginia countryside with her husband of 26 years John and their Boxers. When not canning or cooking in the kitchen with children, she reads, walks endless miles, and leads a Mom Heart Bible Study. Kellie and John have 5 children and served with the US Army for 22 years.
To read more from the author, please feel free to visit her blog: http://amomincatlett.blogspot.com/