Sunday Encouragement-Christmas Memories

Merry Christmas! I think we all love traditions this time of the year. We have traditions with our families and with our friends.

As we unpack our Christmas decorations many of them bring back memories of Christmas’ past. I’m sure you have a special ornament or decoration that reminds you of someone special.

One of the sweetest Christmas memories I have is of our Nativity scene. Growing up, Mom always made setting  it out special.

for unto us a child
Mom wrote an article about it in 1991 when she was the food editor at our local newspaper. I want to share that article with you.

“Christmas is a family all bundled up in love.”
We usually trim the Christmas tree the second week in December. The night’s a special one for our whole family because the beginning of the yuletide season finally becomes a reality.

The excitement of the night has everyone scurrying about in each direction. As my husband Doug, brings in the tree, the excitement mounts. Next, he gets the laborious job of digging the decorations out of the attic. The children start the Christmas music, and I make the hot chocolate and arrange the sugar cookies and buckeyes on a pretty plate.

As Doug brings the boxes down from the attic, they’re quickly opened and the carpet disappears as the decorations soon cover the floor. We all enjoy reminiscing over the handmade ornaments, the candy cane/lifesaver garland, the twinkle lights, the red bows, and the wonderful smell of the Christmas tree.

Before we trim the tree, though, we set up our “treasured” crèche (a manger scene). Doug and I bought the manger scene twenty-six years ago in downtown Lexington. It was our first Christmas together. We found the beautiful hand-painted crèche on a sale table in the back of Ben Snyder’s Department Store.

manger scene

 It had a price tag of $10.98. We bought the crèche and placed it on top of our television set in our new home – a trailer. Little did we realize how much that nativity scene would mean to us in the years that lay ahead.

For several years, however, it was treated like the other decorations at Christmastime. We just got it out and set it in its old familiar place – on the TV. It didn’t seem to take on the special meaning until our children were old enough to help arrange the figurines in their places.

During their growing –up years, the children carefully unwrapped the figurines and Doug and I retold the Christmas story and discussed the real meaning of Christmas as they placed each figure in its proper place. I’m not sure the little lamb was in its proper place, though. Blake insisted on placing the little lamb up in the loft. (How a lamb could climb up there in real life is beyond me!)

Traci loved hanging the angel on the nail where it belonged – at the top of the stable. Across the front of the angel’s robe is a banner that says, “Gloria!”. I laughed so hard the year Traci said, “Let me put Gloria up!” (She thought the angel’s name was Gloria!)

Cyndi gently placed the baby Jesus in the manger between Mary and Joseph. Then one by one we all unwrapped the other figurines and placed them in the nativity. When we finished, Doug slipped a new, white bulb in the back of the stable. The reflection from the light causes the glitter to sparkle brightly in the shape of a star, behind where the Christ Child lay.

Immediately, Doug turned all the lights out in the room, except the one in the nativity scene. As “Silent Night, Holy Night” or some other hymn plays in the background, we all stand back in awe and gratitude and reflect on God’s greatest gift to mankind – His son, Jesus!

Approximately five years ago, I came across another manger scene (identical to ours) at Hillenmeyer Nurseries. Inflation had sky-rocketed the price to over $300.00. Would I sell ours for $300.00? No way…I wouldn’t take a million dollars for the loving memories our family has already experienced and will experience in the years to come – not only family memories, but also memories of our Savior’s birth!

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Such sweet memories! I’ll never forget those Christmas’.

Christmas seems to be less and less about Jesus these days. Have you noticed how few nativity scenes you see in the stores. It’s not politically correct to have them anymore.

Let me encourage you today to NOT miss it. Don’t miss His birth, don’t miss the precious gift that God gave us. 

A tradition on my blog, is to play this song. Some of you have heard it, but there are many of you who are knew around here and you might not have heard it.

Either way, it’s a beautiful song that reminds that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

 

Have a blessed Sunday!

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18 Comments

  1. Such a beautiful song thanks for sharing it again. I enjoy hearing the traditions of others around Christmas. Many of us carry on some part of the traditions we had as children when we have our own families and I love how they carry on across the generations.

  2. I loved your Mom’s article, thank you for sharing. My daughter wants a nativity set for her home, we can’t believe how hard it is to find one she likes, there are just so few to pick from. Don’t you just love family traditions? I had a friend once that said they didn’t have any, I thought that was so sad.

  3. How lucky are you to be able to go back and re-read your Mom’s articles whenever you want to! Thanks for sharing with us.

  4. What a sweet story. If my math is correct I could be your mother! Sounds like your parents married about the same year we did. (1964) we also lived in a trailer that first year in Bowling Green at WKU. We were so poor! No tree just 2 red candles we got for buying gas and holly off the shrubs on campus. But what great memories we have now!

  5. i have never heard that song- thank you for sharing it. I always feel inspired by your blog. Hope you have a blessed Christmas.

  6. So sweet and tender! Thank you for sharing <3
    Having grown up a Kentucky girl, fun to hear the name of Ben Snyder department store!
    Our grandson's came today and the three year old helped put some ornaments on the tree. Best day ever!! And yes, the nativity is always one of the first things to be put out each year – a gift from my parents purchased in…Kentucky of course! =0)

  7. I have the crèche from my childhood that my parents purchased in 1963 when they married. A few of the sheep and a camel have taken a tumble over the years, but just as we are broken, we can all still come and worship.

  8. Thank you so much for your story. Also thank you for introducing me to Gracelaced. What a great sight and she is so talented. Would have never found if it hadn’t been for you!

  9. That song is amazing. Thank you for sharing. It is very true we all need to remind ourselves that Jesus is the reason for the season.