by M. J. Joachim
I’m not sure when or how it started, but over the years I’ve acquired quite the collection of nativity scenes. Most are gifts - for as long as I can remember, I’ve received at least one nativity scene as a gift at Christmas every year.
For many years I’ve displayed these nativity scenes all throughout the house. Several are ornaments on the tree, a few are placed throughout my village set (also a gift I received), and one goes outside on display in the front yard.
This year I decided to display the majority of my manger scenes on the piano. They come in all shapes and sizes. About four or five of them are music boxes. The little quilted one is one I designed and made myself. It’s completely hand stitched. I gave one to each of my three children many years ago. Since two of my kids still live at home, I get to display it with the others.
I’ve always enjoyed gazing at manger scenes and nativity sets. One year our family actually went to a live nativity presentation, complete with petting zoo. The kids were little and it was quite the adventure at the time. We also take evening rides strolling through neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. I’m always happy to see so many manger scenes in people’s front yards.
The artistry expressed in each individual nativity set intrigues and delights me. Look at St. Francis’s protective and caring observation of the child, Jesus. Mary’s expressions explore a wide range of emotions. Everything from prayerful to peaceful, joyful to tearful, tired, yet overcome with the thrill of becoming a mother…all the things every new mother feels, except Mary surely felt more as the Mother of our Savior.
The night must have been anything but silent, and yet, Silent Night fits the theme of it all perfectly.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: M. J. Joachim, Nativity Collection, ©2014 All Rights Reserved