Tradition. Can it help us be strong in family and faith?
My grandmother had a nativity set just like this when I was small. It was carefully laid out on a little table, usually near the Christmas tree, right next to the front window. Ribbon candy appeared in a little blue dish along about that time too.....
I loved it, although it was a little intimidating too. Baby Jesus, those scary wise men, and all you know, and we were not allowed to get too close to it. However, I so desperately wanted to touch the animals and move the figurines .
Fast forward many years. Grandma is gone and the set left to another family member, who no doubt loves it dearly.
Meanwhile I found this one at a garage sale down in town for just five dollars quite many years ago. The parts were not all there but we had fun finding replacements that kinda, sorta, almost matched, making legs for the broken dog, discovering that someone had added an extra wise man and putting in a Border Collie too.
It is a beloved tradition that is strong in our family, so much so that the kids actually cleared off Grandma Lachmayer's dining room table, another object steeped in family lore, without complaining too awfully badly. And it was buried pretty deep.
This morning was the first time Peggy has ever seen it. She seemed as awed as I was all those years ago, and wanted to add one of her cows to the one next to the manger. Hopefully she will learn the stories that go with the figures and remember grandmothers and aunts and uncles and Christmases filled with the magic of love and family, just as I do.