All posts tagged: nativity

The gift God gave me this year.

“How’s it been, readjusting to normal life?” I’ve been asked. “Has it been difficult?” After our three-month caravanning adventure from Tassie to Cooktown and back again, you’d’ve thought it WOULD be difficult slotting back into the daily rhythms and responsibilities. Of school lunches and ballet lessons and housework and meetings and juggling jobs and groceries. Instead of beach days and markets and ice-cream and beach days and walks and cafes and beach days. But it hasn’t. And when I look back to that jewel of family time on the road, seeing new things every day, living simply and without much need for clocks and calendars, I recognise something very special that God gave us this year. Time. Yes, he gave us three months. Of time. But those three months have given us an appreciation for the true value of our time. And I’ve said this to so many people lately, but it’s true and I want to share it again. Our family dynamic is so very different since we’ve returned. We relish the time we …

The Nativity Pig

There’s a pig in our nativity.

My makeshift Christmas scene is made from plastic animal figurines bought from the local toyshop. They sit on the mantelpiece beneath a glass cloche with a hessian star hanging from the top – an idea from one of those home-decorating mags. Jesus is a little piece of rolled-up cheesecloth sitting atop half a bird’s nest.

Porky is the latest addition.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

There will be a birthday party in our house on Christmas morning.  As soon as our two-year-old son’s sweet little head hits the pillow tomorrow night, hubby and I will be in mission mode; hanging balloons, icing the cake, wrapping presents, setting the table with party hats and whistles. I can predict his response. He will march from his bedroom – he always wakes up perky – and his eyes will double in size as he takes in the living room transformation.  He will laugh and clap his hands and sing, “I excited, I excited” while performing his little ‘I-have-more-energy-than-I-know-what-to-do-with’ dance. And all the effort will be worth it. Perhaps you’re thinking we’re one of those unfortunates with a birthday in the family that falls on Christmas Day.  Well, we’re not.  We’ve decided to celebrate Jesus’ birthday this year with the same dynamism and anticipation as we do our own birthdays.  He IS part of our family after all. I have delighted in establishing our own family traditions. There have been long discussions into the …

Christmas for Ordinary Folk

It’s Christmas tomorrow. I hope you will find time to mull over the message secreted at the heart of this time. Some of us have heard the Christmas story so many times that it has lost its lustre. That line might describe me a few days ago. I was reading through the nativity sequence – virgin falls pregnant, travels to Bethlehem, gives birth to Jesus in a stable, shepherds and wise men come to see him – and realised that we rarely give Joseph much thought. Mary gets her fair share of accolades, and there’s a glitter and mystery around the wise men. Jesus is the main character, and rightly so. But Joseph tends to stay in the shadows, his role often downplayed or skimmed over, forgotten. I mean, think how many artists have depicted the virgin and child, Joseph strangely absent. It’s easy to overlook the fact that these famous Christmas characters were everyday people. Mary and Joseph were ordinary folk chosen for an extraordinary purpose: to raise Jesus like their own child, and first child …