Nothing says Christmas like a nativity. The room I’m sitting in right now has seven forms of nativity. Some expensive. Some handmade. All are valued. I’m trying hard not to miss the mini pewter nativity that has my name on it at my parent’s house and remain content with those that I have.
Years ago, friends who are missionaries in Kenya gave us a Banana Bark Nativity Set (BBNS) which I quickly fell in love with. I’m not much of an Early Christmas planner-type but by the end of October, I find myself thinking about the BBNS and begin to count the days until it will come out of its box.
My children are fond of it also but in a different way. While I am drawn to the story behind it and the thoughtfulness of special friends, my children have assigned a state of mischief to the display. Every week after we clean, the child-duster in our home has re-set the pieces. And there are others who modify the collection’s stance. They are crafty, these children. They wait until I’m not looking or out of the room. Then as I go about my business it comes over me that something is different, has changed and though I want to be indignant, when I see the transition, I find I can’t. I don’t know if there’s been a time I have not laughed out loud. And sometimes my laughter brings the kids into the room and we all crack up together, the perpetrator glorying in his success.
So now my BBNS is not just about friendship and the African continent but it’s wrapped in memories of play and cleverness and isn’t that what Christmas is for? To unite us in experiences and to be image bearers of creativity and to bring joy to the celebration of Christ’s birth?
Here are some of our past and present favorites—some of the pictures taken in real time and others recreated. (if you received this update via email and can’t see the photos, click here to go directly to the blog)