Our Nativity or Manger scene was always a part of our Christmas. My mother had a small table in the hall where we’d set up the wooden stable and colorful plastic figures: the animals, an angel, a shepherd and the Holy Family. We had a cow that did not stand straight. She had to lean against the stall to stay on her feet. There were fat white sheep and a friendly looking grey donkey. The Blessed Mother, in her pink and blue robes, was my favorite. We never put the Baby Jesus in the little scene until Christmas Day. And my brothers and I put the three wise men on the far edge of the table. Each day we’d take turns, moving them closer to the Baby.
When I got married my mother bought me a beautiful set of Nativity figures of my own. I keep them in the original box and love lifting out each tissue paper wrapped figure. It is like seeing friends who I haven’t seen in a long time. When my children were little theirs were the little hands who placed the animals in the stable and moved the wise men closer each day.
Read some of my 2011 Advent posts.