When I’m overwhelmed at this time of year I gravitate to the nativity scenes I’ve put up in my home, often stopping to contemplate them at the end of a long day when the lights are low and instrumental Christmas music is playing softly in the background.
Each of them is very different but this is the one I’m most drawn to.
The manger itself was designed and built by my Uncle Lou, which makes it really special and I love the simplicity of the Willow Tree figurines, each of them infused with calm and reverence, all of them focused on the baby.
All is serene.
I’m a big believer in traditions.
As a military family our surroundings changed constantly. Each move brought new experiences and ways to celebrate the Christmas season so things that happened within our family every single year were essential to defining our sense of home during the holidays…..homemade Chex Mix, the tree with the careful placing of ornaments collected over the years, watching It’s A Wonderful Life and White Christmas, making butter cookies and countless batches of english toffee, the sending and receiving of cards that connect us to people all over the world, the choir singing Christmas carols at mass, a house that glows with tiny white lights, both inside and out.
It’s just not this time of year without those things.
Except this year it’s all different.
Christmas is in storage.