If you look close, you’ll see that our attachment to our treasured decorations is rooted in the object’s history, rather than the beauty of the object itself. History, of course, takes time to develop, and builds momentum while we are not looking.
I clearly remember the day I found this wooden nativity at my favorite hometown shop, Global Crafts. I specifically chose this one because I thought the wooden figurines would be durable enough to withstand lots of boy-handling; and they have. Moving the Holy Family to our wooden toy barn gives us enough room for Mary, Joseph, the angels, and Baby Jesus to mingle with the animals.
When I pull this nativity out of its box year after year and smile, it is not because I am so pleased that the set has held up so well; I am instead, remembering the day I bought this. My boys were licking Christmas cookie dough from the spoons at Grandma’s house, while she was busy baking. I was just a few blocks away, picking out this set. A world I once took for granted; and has now, remarkably vanished from my life — in just a short time. This nativity set reminds me of the way the world once was; so that I don’t forget.
I mourn less now; and try to remember more. This year, I can look back on those days in wonder, as I try to recall exactly how it was; I’m forgetting so quickly now as new grooves and patterns are replacing these older ways. Yet, what I wouldn’t give for just 10 minutes of her time to fill her in on all that’s new, and watch her react to all that she discovers about us.
For one, I’d like to introduce her to our Elf, who always seems to drop in when you least expect it. Personally, I just think he’s trying to make amends for that snowball fight.
Merry Christmas to all.