And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn Luke 2:7
As we get older, our perspectives on things change- a lot! I suggest that this is a good thing. When I was very young, Christmas was an incredibly exciting time, because on Christmas Eve, there would be presents under the tree -a live tree of course. There would be wonderful toys, and I could hardly hold in my excitement.
We did not have a lot of money when I was a kid, but mom and pop made it a beautiful adventure of expectation. I was allowed to help decorate the tree, and set up a winter scene around the ancient manger stable that had been passed down in the family from my grandfather. Maybe it was even from great-grandpa, I don’t know, but it was ancient wood, fragile, and it held delicate statues of Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, the three Wise Men, and various animals. Several of the animals were stricken with amputated legs due to their age and brittle composition.
I remember clearly my mom’s affection for that old manger scene. As I got older, I realized that it was not just the fact that it had been hand made and handed down generationally. The significance was in what that scene represented. It represented the reason for Christmas.
Gradually as the years passed, the emphasis was much less on what kind of gifts awaited me, but on the family events that surrounded Christmas- Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, and later, on Christmas Day, a pack of family members sitting around a table loaded with food, and surrounded by the comfort of family love.
Enjoy this Christmas season and embrace the nostalgia and memories of how your family celebrates it. You are passing on a legacy that endures…
Prayer: Lord, you gave us an example of a loving family in those manger scenes. Help us to show that love well to many families this Christmas, Amen