Christmas 2007 — Our Thanksgiving Tradition

blog-pic-b-2007.jpgEvery year we spend the day after Thanksgiving transforming the end of our living room into a manger scene. It turns out different every year, but it always serves the same purpose — to get our eyes, minds and hearts focused on the birth of our Lord, Jesus.

blog-pic-a.jpgIt starts off with tables and boxes and ends up with a 14×10-foot display of various worshipers surrounding the manger. Like the way it was, some seem more aware of the significance of the event and the Person than others.

The 12-inch figures are Italian, made by Fontanini. We like them and have been adding a little each year for the past 15 years or so. Unfortunately, Fontanini make only limited pieces, so we try to improvise from wherever we can find something that fits. Our three children join us in an all-day event with each one contributing his or her specialty.

blog-piper-2007.jpgFinally, we enjoy staring at it, imagining what it might have been like 2,000 years ago. And we enjoy inviting guests to do the same as they come for an evening visit. This year, my thoughts keep coming back to the idea of the incarnation as the inordinate condescension in which God became flesh and the Son interrupted his peace and glory with the Father to come live with us in order that we might know Him. I want to experience more of an appreciation for the transformation He has made in my life and consequently express an even deeper thankfulness for making the way to God available to me.


One Response to Christmas 2007 — Our Thanksgiving Tradition

  1. Carol Stall says:

    Hello Lee,
    Thanks for the url; I enjoyed the visuals and the narrative. The energy in your home must be amazing with this tableau dominating your living room.

    Yesterday I had a conversation with a lady from Columbia who was telling me about their Christmas tradition in her home country. Every home has a nativity scene–Christmas trees were never seen until relatively recently, although now some people are becoming more “Americanized” and are including them, although they are never the dominant focus or decoration for Christmas. In Columbia, they celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve.

    After being asleep for awhile, the younger children are awakened, and everyone enjoys a nice meal (at her house they eat a specially prepared meal about 11:00 pm). Then they open presents, and afterwards everyone goes out into the streets–whole neighborhoods–and dances and celebrates. The children go back to bed around 4:00 am I think she said, and the adults soon after, and then everyone sleeps in the next day.

    No one really has a “big” day on Christmas day–meals or gifts or whatever. And their focus is always on Jesus; they really don’t include Santa Claus at all.

    Anyway, your nativity scene reminds me of what she does for her family to prepare for Christmas. She sets up a large nativity scene–a little village with houses, animals, the manger scene, etc. and has Mary and Joseph and the donkey traveling toward Bethlehem during the days leading up to Christmas, moving the couple a little closer to the inn each day.

    On Christmas Eve, they arrive at the inn and Blanca lays the baby Jesus in the manger. The wise men and the camels are not there yet. They learn of the birth and travel toward Bethlehem, arriving on January 6th. I think that is AWESOME for her children to experience each year.

    Great job on creating a very sacred and inspiring space in your home.

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