The Nativity Set


When I was a little girl we had this beautiful nativity set that we’d set up under the tree each year. 

The barn was fragile, the people and animals were made of ceramic.

It was beautiful. 

I remember it being one of my very favorite parts of the holiday season (I clearly never had a doll house, ha!).

I loved setting it up. I loved re-arranging the people and animals just so. And that tiny baby Jesus. Swoon. 

I always assumed it’d be a part of my children’s Christmases someday as I didn’t envision my brother ever fighting me for it. 

But when the time came and I was an adult, and then a momma, the nativity set was gone. Lost in a move. Goodwilled. Who knows?

I had hope it would turn up eventually in a dusty, misplaced box. I refused to give in and my a nativity set because I wanted that one with all its charm and memories.

The thing is, Miss H is 6. She’s never experienced a Christmas with a nativity scene fixed under the tree. (Is that a thing, or were we just weird?)

So today while Mr. B and I were doing some Christmas shopping for family, I saw a cute little wooden nativity set. 

Now, I think there was a lot of good life lessons in that ceramic nativity set of my childhood. We had to be ever so careful with it. And we were. But I am definitely a fan of the wooden one we found. I don’t have to worry about our baby Godzilla destroying it for good.

B gave me side eye when I first purchased it. He’d have preferred something else, but he was intrigued enough to ask to hold it during the drive home, and then promptly asked to set it up when we got home. 

I’d be a liar if I said I did a great job with my children’s religious education. I take them to mass occassionally, but they know more stories from Norse mythology than they do the bible. It is what it is, I suppose.

But B loved setting up Mary and Joseph and their precious baby Jesus while I explained the role each one had. He lines up the three wiseman as I explained their connection to Dia de los Reyes. And the animals surrounded them all (joined by a few dinosaurs). Of course, our little Godzilla immediately knocked it all down, and so Mr. B began the process over again.

But it’s those moments, those sweet memories of playing with a nativity set and talking about baby Jesus under the lit tree with my darling boys, that are going to matter now and even in 50 year ago. Not a specific nativity set. 

So although I may still feel that longing for the nativity set of my youth, I’m glad I finally let it go so that I could make these memories with my children now.

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