The Christmas Creche, by Liz Goodyear Jones
Collector, afficianado, lover and deeply devoted to the child within me, the Christmas creches are generally the first things out of my many, many boxes of Christmas ornaments. From the beautiful papier mache Nativity from my own mother’s collection, to the artful Italian manger scene lit with real tiny lights (always occupying prime real estate on the mantle), to the tiny Mexican nativity scene complete with its own mariachi band, purchased by my family in Valladolid, Quintano Roo on a vacation. The creches and its attendant mangers are the most important part of my Christmas. My favorite is the precious wooden and felt set made by my daughter some 30 years ago.
Of course, all these memory-filled magical mangers are without the baby Jesus, because he does not arrive until Christmas morning. At that point we troop around the house carefully placing baby Jesus’s, (who have been watched over by gentle porcelain Mary’s kneeling by the bowl where they have waited). We sing “Joy to the World” and put Jesus carefully home in his proper place.
Which brings me to the point of this little travelogue. Every year Epiphany rolls around and so do the boxes that are to be filled with dismantled scenes and carefully stored for next year’s Coming. It always makes me a bit sad.
This year, as we celebrated communion round the breakfast table and its creche, I realized there was one manger that did not have to be put away. And that is the creche of our hearts, where this Christ child snuggles in filled with warmth and love, and with the power of God to light our way home forever.
God bless you one and all. Merriest Christmas from one creche to another.
Rev. Liz and her husband David, celebrate Christmas in their home, in Long Beach, MS, just outside New Orleans, along with their two cats Taj Mahal and King Leo, their daughter Sarah who resides in New York and a host of precious memories they love to share.