Christmas Memories

In my keeping is a special Nativity Scene. The Creche along with shepherds, sheep, Magi, an Angel, the Holy Family, Donkey, Ox, and Ass were given to my mom by her grandmother on her 16th birthday. That would have been 1944. Mom shared a special relationship with her grandmother, a woman I was privileged to know well. This Nativity Scene was a major part of my Christmas growing up. My siblings and I would lovingly put it up each year during Advent. Since we lived on a farm, we would raid our other toys, like the farm set, using the pigs, chickens, and horses to augment Mom’s treasured Creche. After all, if Jesus was born in a stable (in Luke’s Gospel at least) then there must have been other animals, too. The additions were not the right size, nor were they made of similar material—plastic rather than gypsum. It made no difference to us, and we were never corrected by our folks. They wanted us to become engaged with the Christmas story. We did not put the Christ Child in his manger until we returned from Midnight Mass, and we moved the Magi closer each day until they arrived on January 6th. When Mom died over two years ago, my siblings graciously allowed me to add Mom’s Creche to my already large collection of Creches. As I lovingly open its box and remove the figurines, many warm memories fill my heart. I am blessed to have this Creche and blessed by the memories of the many lessons of love and faith imparted to me and my siblings through this Creche. Thank you, Mom and Dad, and thank you Great-Grandma.

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