Growing up I was privileged to experience great holiday traditions with both sides of my family.
One of the fun things my cousins, siblings and I enjoyed doing was playing with the Nativity scene at my Grandma Deuink’s house on Christmas Eve.
One year we mixed up the Cinderella story and the biblical account of the Nativity story.
My sister, who was about 4 at the time, announced that she wanted to be the “Mary godmother.”
And I will give it to her.
Cinderella’s fairy godmother and Mary (Jesus’ mother), could be confusing to a three-year old. :)
At least she had her theology correct, Mary was God’s earthly mother.
Or the time I was two or three years old and hid the Nativity scene’s baby Jesus…
I remember thinking I wanted to be sure the baby Jesus stayed safe until next Christmas so I needed to hide him.:)
At the next Christmas Eve family gathering the following year, my grandmother was so distraught that the baby Jesus was missing from the set.
I said, ” Oh Grandma, I know where it is.”
I took her to the secret location in her house where I had hidden it a year before.
And there was the baby Jesus, all safe and sound in a tiny jewelry box in the curio cabinet.
Because of my grandmother’s love of the Nativity story and wanting her grandchildren to remember the real reason for Christmas, she started collecting Nativity scenes for all of her grandchildren.
Every year we received one piece of the Italian-made Fontanini nativity until all of her grandchildren had a complete set.
This year was the first year I had my own house to decorate for Christmas and display my set.
And to be honest as I was setting it out last night I might have teared up a little remembering all those fun times we had as children on Christmas Eve.