holiday memories

for my newer of my favorite holiday memories:

In case you haven't notice, Christmas is my favorite (except for the whole crazy crowds and excess part). I love, love, LOVE the baking, the decorating, the family-time, the reason, the traditions, and the memories.

I think many of my favorite memories involve our nativity.

It's not the most beautiful nativity in the world and we're frequently asked why we don't buy a new one. We don't buy a new one, because this is OUR nativity. In October of 1993, our home burned to the ground in one of the infamous Southern California wildfires. We lost everything.

Words cannot describe the "punched in the gut" feeling you get when you turn the corner and your home has disappeared. Or when you stand in the "living room" and realize that everything you owned is now 4" of ash. Or the thrill of finding something (anything) that survived.

OUR nativity survived. All the pieces. Not a scratch on any of them. Sure, they lost their beautiful blue glaze and are now carrying the color of the fires, but they survived. This was the only familiar thing we had that Christmas and it was strangely comforting.

Our nativity plays a big part in our holidays.  Each year the kids claim a wiseman. The wisemen start at the eastern most part of the house and every morning are moved a little bit closer to baby Jesus. The kids decide where they move. One year, our "wisemen" just couldn't agree on anything. Hubby1 would come home and there would be a wiseman on the coffee table, another by the lamp, and another in the office. He'd laugh and, with a wise smile, ask me how my day had gone. They eventually ended up at baby Jesus and everything was right with the world, but the journey was interesting that year.

I didn't think much about what the set meant to the kids until my daughter claimed it this year. "just so ya'll know -- when you and dad kick it, i get the nativity set." don't you just feel the love?


  1. I'm sorry about the fire but isn't that great that your nativity scene survived?! We had a fire and lost some precious stuff but not our home or family. A baby's story book of Jesus burned all except his face. Like a miracle in the ashes.

  2. How awesome! and how awesome that your daughter wants it! I'm sorry you lost your home though. That must have been tough.

    Hugs and Merry Christmas!

  3. Wow, I didn't know. When we moved from Ohio to Florida 8 yrs ago, the driver of our moving truck fell asleep at the wheel and rolled down a 150 ft embankment... I know the joy of finding anything in tact. Tell your daughter, we put stickers with our name on the items we claimed when our parents "kick it"

  4. Thank you for sharing this:) I love the wisemen moving toward baby Jesus! I think we may have to start that here:)

    That nativity is the most beautiful set in the world. Wishing you and your family a blessed and peace-full Christmas!