O Holy Hight
As a child, Christmas was always a special and exciting time. Of course, anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus and seeing presents under the tree on Christmas morning was a focal point of the season. But growing up in a Catholic family, my parents also made sure that we understood that Christmas was not just about Santa and Rudolph and presents. We also knew that Christmas was about the birth of Christ. My mom displayed Nativity scenes in our home during the Advent and Christmas season. I always loved looking at these displays and as I got older and had a home of my own, I started to collect Nativity scenes. In all sizes and forms.
I remember two manger scenes that my mom put out. One was hand carved olive wood from the Holy Land. My sister has that scene. The other scene is shown above. My mom bought figures from the 5 and dime store and then she covered them with fabric. I remember her sitting at the card table in the family room gluing the fabric to the figures. She used a toothpick to tuck and shape the fabric to follow the folds in the clothing on the figures. You can really see this on Joseph and Mary's cloak in the back. The baby Jesus is wrapped in his swaddling clothes.
For the Magi, my mom used richer, brighter colored velvet as would befit their royal status. She applied cotton to emulate fur trim on their cloaks and added rhinestones and seed pearls.
Today, I display more than 30 (yes, that's 3-0!) Nativity scenes in my home. From traditional scenes by Fontanini, Willow Tree and Waterford to pictures, pillows and trees skirts, large and small, the Nativity is in nearly every room. Don't ask how many Nativity ornaments there are on my tree. I can't even begin to guess.
One Nativity scene that I don't have is a large scene for the front yard. There are many beautiful yard scenes in my community but my favorite by far is so impressive that it leaves you speechless. The photo I have below does not do this Nativity scene justice. The display covers the entire front yard of this home. I wish you could see it lit up at night. There are gas lamps that flicker and glowand a huge Christmas star suspended high in the air.
I will leave you with a slideshow of some of my Nativity scenes. Merry Christmas my dear friends.