Thursday, December 9, 2010

{Holiday} Things I Love--My Nativity Set

I am not a collector of things.  I'm not knick-knacky and cutesy.  I love the way all that "stuff" looks in other people's homes but just the thought of having to dust one more item sends me into a panic attack.

Yep, at my house--less is definitely more.

I was pretty surprised when I first saw "Willow Tree" figurines and kinda loved them.  I'm not exactly sure why but I wanted some.  They don't match my decor but something about the faceless people feels really homey to me. (Still, I didn't get carried away.  I have a couple and that's it. No need for the whole collection).

When my mom learned there was a nativity scene of Willow Tree people she asked if she could slowly build me a collection.  I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement because I'd seen the set and loved it but didn't want to pay for it because I'm cheap readily gave her my consent. I'm just nice like that.

So my mom slowly got me pieces. Mary, Jesus, and Joseph on year one.  Year two the creche.  Year three the shepards.  Year four the stars.  Year five the wise men.

And then my mom got sick.

Now she doesn't remember that she started my collection for me.

She doesn't remember it isn't quite finished.

She's forgotten about the other stars, the angel, the angel stand, and the animals.

Last year my mother-in-law lovingly offered to finish the set for me but I just couldn't let her do it.

It might be weird but I love my set just as it is.  I love the memories I have of excitedly waiting for my new pieces each year.  I love that it's from my mom.

Every year I unwrap my nativity set by myself.  I open each piece slowly.  It's kinda like opening a memory.

When I got my nativity set out this year I got all weepy.  Even now my eyes fill with tears as I realize the beautiful reason this nativity set is so beloved to me.

My nativity set is a symbol of my relationship with my mom.

It is no longer growing. 

It is humble.

It is not finished. 

Something is missing.

Yet it's perfectly perfect just the way it is.

My house has great Pre-War II bungalow built ins (which we added, of course, since we just built our house last year).  This one is in my entry way.  I never dress up my nativity scene.  I think the pieces are a bold enough statement on their own.

I use one of my other figurines as the angel every year.

And that's why I love my nativity set.


  1. What a beautiful story, it's very touching.

  2. I have always loved your nativity set and didn't ever realize it was incomplete.Thanks for sharing the story.

    This morning, I was thinking about how my mom gives too much to my kids, how she spoils them and makes them more materialistic.

    Now I am just happy that she wants to spoil them and now I realize it won't last forever. Your blog is just what I needed today.

  3. For barely really knowing you in real life...I feel like I know your heart and its truly beautiful! Thanks for sharing! You're words and reflections about your mom have really made me think and value my mom and other relationships that I have in a refreshed light.

    And I LOVE this nativity set. I've been looking at them on Ebay for the last four years and dropping hints like crazy to Matt...but maybe someday! :)


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