At our church’s Ladies Brunch a couple of weeks ago, the decorating scheme included Nativity scenes as table centerpieces. The coordinator added an extra touch of creativity to her idea by asking women to donate sets for the morning.
The day before the event, I and a couple of others set up the room. And as we unpacked the scenes, I couldn’t help but wonder about them. (You know how much I enjoy stories!)
Where were these pieces made? How did so-and-so get this set? I wished there had been time during the brunch for the women to share the backgrounds. Even if the story was simple, like “I bought it at a craft fair”, the scene has meaning for the person who owns it.
My daughter and I finally put out some Christmas decorations yesterday. And my thoughts went back to the brunch as I pulled out our small glass Nativity scene. It was a gift from my brother-in-law one of the first years I was married. Amazingly, it’s survived many seasons with curious little hands mostly intact, though somehow we now have the manger without the baby inside.
As I opened the box, my eyes were greeted by familiar friends: paintings of The Nutcracker soldier and fireside scenes done in school art class; a copy of The Night Before Christmas that my husband read as a little boy; a menagerie of adorable stuffed elves, santas and even Snoopy. And that was just at first glance!
Every item has significance, even if it’s just remembering all the years we’ve pulled them out of that box. And it isn’t about the things themselves, as much as the people and moments that come to mind by looking at them.
Yes, I get sentimental. But I also feel gratitude for all the ways I’ve been blessed by my family and friends over the years. I’m aware of God’s goodness in a real, tangible way. The act of decorating takes on a richness and joy that I really look forward to.
Do you have a favorite Christmas decoration? Savor putting it on display this year. Then, if there’s a story attached to it, write it down. That will not only be a sweet reminder for you, but a testimony to pass down to your children.