I've been silent for about six months. Perhaps I will get reinspired in the new year. But I can't let my Christmas traditions post go unpublished so here it is, repeated yearly on about this date! Caleb is now 6 years old so this is a very old post, but one of my favorites. Merry Christmas to all!
This is one of my favorite Christmas stories and I post it here again as Christmas approaches.
One of my regrets in life is that my husband and I simply did not manage
to have a lot of traditions in our home that carried on from year to
year. I’m not exactly sure why this happened, but we just didn’t seem to
have very many traditions that stuck. We tried getting our Christmas
tree together a few times, had birthday parties for Jesus, opened
presents at night, in the morning, collected ornaments -- some years! In
fact, when I recently asked my daughter what we should have to eat on
Christmas Eve, she stated that our family “tradition” was to have
something different every year. That’s one way of reframing it!
One thing we did have, however, was a Christmas crèche. When Ken and I
were first married, we bought a complete crèche scene and painstakingly
painted and antiqued every piece. We still have all the pieces, minus
one chip out of the donkey’s ear, knocked off the shelf by the family
cat. We never did find that missing ear and finally decided that the
crèche was just perfect without it!
As our children grew, however, the crèche took on “other” meanings
during the Christmas season. Our kids had a lot of fun changing the
scene. One year the shepherds and wise men formed a rock band, complete
with little guitars and drums. Another year, Sylvester the Cat would
show up in the scene. Or various animals would roam the stage. Or the
smurfs. Or whatever action figures happened to be in vogue at the time.
Our kids recreated life, mostly in fun.
But one year, as we were waiting to have our Christmas eve dinner, we
got a phone call from our middle son. He had pulled out into oncoming
traffic, driving my car, and been hit by a car he hadn’t seen coming. He
and his girlfriend were fine, but shaken up, and we interrupted our
planned events to go and sort things out.
we returned home, the crèche had mysteriously morphed into a new scene,
complete with a wrecked toy car with shepherds and wise men all looking
on with concern. Joseph was on the phone, Mary was sitting at the
dinner table waiting for the family. And above it all, the angel
hovered, having done her job, keeping everyone safe.
Today the crèche sits, undisturbed by the hands of children, awaiting
the next generation’s take on the meaning of Christmas. And, after a
half hour search in my completely disorganized photo storage system, I
found the picture! If you look closely, you can even see the missing
year I had my 2-1/2-year-old grandson, Caleb,visiting and he and I set
up my Playmobile creche scene. It has a cardboard backing with a stable
and door. We set up the camel, the wise men, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus,
the angel. I was waiting for Caleb to begin acting out the story of
Christmas. Caleb picked up a shepherd and resolutely walked him over to
the stable door. "TRICK OR TREAT!" he yelled!
Guess we've got a little way to go til he gets the story down!