Christmas Joy

Ever since K and I started having children,
my mom’s been on the lookout for kid-friendly nativity scenes.

I’ve been having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. Like poor Charlie Brown worrying about Christmas… Can anyone else relate?

There’s so much to do: gifts to buy or wrap (or both!), baking to do, concerts to attend, programs to prepare, decorations to drag from storage, travel to plan, cards to write, photos to take…Need I go on?

My joy was flagging, at best. And what is Christmas without JOY?

It was enough to bring me to tears. My favorite season of the church year – Advent – and I couldn’t find my joy.

Carved olive wood nativity scene.

(I was even considering trying to convince my husband that we shouldn’t bother with the tree this year!)

But is this what Christmas is all about? Of course not. I know and I knew that it isn’t the gifts or the tree … or the baking or cards or ornaments or any of it.

This set is from my aunt.
My youngest, G, set it up and was very happy
with how they all are looking at Jesus.

It’s Jesus. It’s God becoming flesh and dwelling among us.

It’s His heart being revealed to all in the person of His Son, a tiny babe born in a dirty stable to a poor girl and her almost-husband.

This Christmas Pyramid was from my mother;
my grandma always had one in their living room
that I loved seeing when I was little.

It’s about love.

And that’s also enough to bring me to tears. Good tears, tears that flow from a heart that’s been poured full of God’s love.

My paternal grandfather painted this set;
my grandmother gave it to me as a Christmas gift
a few months before her death.

And from that love, springs joy.