By Jennifer Hallmark
“How do you keep Christ in Christmas at your house?” My friend, Tracy asked me. My mind drifted automatically to the nativity scenes I display at Christmas. In the past, two main scenes decorate our house amidst the many snowmen I collect. This year I’m also adding a third. Let me tell you about them and what they mean to me.
First is my silver-plated set given to me by my mother and step-dad. It’s an elegant rendition of that first Christmas, each piece handcrafted and detailed. It reminds me of all that is beautiful during this season. From decorations, to selfless acts to large choirs singing songs of adoration, at Christmas time, beauty is on display.
My second set came from a local department store during a sale after Christmas. This ceramic set is more down-to-earth, a closer portrayal of the reality of a stable, hay and animals that surrounded the Savior’s birth. This set reminds me of the reality of life, the hurry, the bad mixed amongst the good during a season full of people with faults and failures, people a lot like me.
I received my third set this year, a gift from my brother and his wife for my fiftieth birthday. Handcrafted in Talkeetna, Alaska, near where they live, this set has two spruce trees and an igloo. Some might think it odd knowing Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but I see symbolism in it as well. Jesus came to earth to save us all from the Eskimo in Alaska to the Aborigines in Australia to the Native Americans in the western United States.
So as I decorate for Christmas and watch my granddaughters carry around baby Jesus and ask me questions about these different renditions of Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus, once again Jesus is lifted up in the Hallmark household.
Writing Prompt: Make a list of your favorite Christmas decorations and detailed descriptions and personal meanings of each. File this to use in an upcoming short story, novella, or novel.