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Monday, December 14, 2009

Finding Baby Jesus

I may have mentioned a few days ago that I have a fetish for Nativity scenes. I love them. I collect them, especially unique and different ones.

Last year for Christmas, my husband got me a hand-carved wooden set from India. It has a dozen little pieces to it. And they are tiny. (Those people are the size of my pinky finger.) Naturally, my children love to play with it. I came in to the living room the other morning to find that the entire set was gone. They had happily tossed it around the house. We spent all day looking for pieces. We found all except one, and it would be the most important one: Baby Jesus.

I was not happy, naturally. But we set up the set with all the animals and figurines, and unless you were looking, you wouldn't notice that the set was missing the most important part. It's a very busy nativity, with all the extra animals and the high profile kings and the Virgin Mary and Joseph.

Which got me thinking. Isn't this how Christmas ends up sometimes? We get so very busy doing really good stuff. We have the extras, the high profile parties, the gifts, even the love that we share with family. With everything going on, we might not even notice if Baby Jesus is not at the center of our activities. But if He's not there, all the great stuff going on isn't worth anything. Because, after all, He's the reason for it.

The Baby Jesus is the reason for my nativity. Without him, it's just a bunch of wooden toys, and my children can throw them around to their hearts' content. Jesus is the reason for the season. Without Him, I can bankrupt my credit card with gifts and parties without ever finding the peace and joy that comes along with Christmas.

My oldest found the Baby Jesus this morning. We're keeping Him in the forefront.

12 comments:

Jannie said...

Thanks for your sweet thoughts, Tamara! How right you are! Thanks!

Also - I don't know if you got my email or not, but you can disregard my request...I found a recipe online that has almond flavoring in it! Thanks for introducing me to that! You're awesome!

Kate said...

What a great analogy.

LMJ said...

It's so true!! I love how you wrote this!! Many times, people forget what Christmas is really about!

Elle Strauss said...

Well said! Jesus is the most important part of every day.

Aaron and Emily said...

I thought you would maybe find Jesus on Christmas day.

I have also started loving Nativity Scenes! I found a cute one, little tiny ornaments the size of my pinky finger. I am sure the kids will lose the pieces, but I couldn't resist. Only $1.50 at Craft Warehouse! And so easy to bring to church with us. My other sets have hands and ears broken off everywhere, even the wood ones. I figured, I want them to focus more on Jesus than on Santa, so if playing with them means breaking and losing pieces, so be it.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Hey Janni! I did see your email! I was going to dig up the recipe for you. Do you need an icing recipe too? Let me know!

Good philosophy, Em. We have Santa stuff too. But it's fun to hear Jacen talking about Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus.

Jannie said...

You are so sweet, Tamara! No, I don't need an icing recipe! Thanks, though! I made the cookies I found with almond and they were delicious - thanks again for introducing that to me!

T. Anne said...

I love this post! Love your nativity too! Jesus is my reason for everything. I'm so glad others appreciate him as well. Hugs.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

What a beautiful and fun way to deliver a very powerful reminder. Thank you for sharing this story - it made my day! :)

Amber said...

Great representation. I love it. I totally feel like that's what is happening during the holidays. We went out to find Christmas lights (which are few in number) and we only saw 2 nativity scenes. So disappointing. I love them too. I think our parents instilled that in us. I saw one in the Deseret magazine...I LOVED it! It was an Eastern design. so Pretty!

laurel said...

Nice analogy. You should write it up as a short devotional--there are numerous publications that publish them and pay, too.

In some parts of the world, they add pieces to the creche set all through the season. Jesus stays under wraps till Christmas day. The wise men appear on Epiphany (1/6).

One of my best memories from my honeymoon was visiting the exhibit at St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal of creche sets from around the world. It's so cool to see how different cultures represent the herders, the magi, the holy family.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Laurel--I love looking at nativities from around the world! so cool! I also think that tradition of putting the pieces out one by one is very neat!

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