Peace, joy, hope, and love! Amidst the celebratory traditional customs with family and friends, there is, above all, the Christ Child! The spirituality of Christmas that applies to our own personal lives, that which happens every year in each of our souls as we progress towards Advent. Advent is the season of spiritual preparation that culminates with the story of Christmas -- the Nativity.
If I were given the opportunity to be anywhere for a moment – I would want to be placed in the holy and sacred place of the stable in Bethlehem. Just imagine for a moment, I could separate myself from the glitz and technology of the modern world, and be one of the shepherds. I thirst for the simplicity and beauty of that one magnificent star shining in the sky that leads me out of the darkness to the beautiful little child in a Manger—the King of Kings! As soon as I reach the Manger, there is a burst of music from the heavens – the Angel tells me “do not be afraid” – I run and I fall to my knees and all I can feel is joy! I have found him -- this is God – this is perfect love and I give myself to Him freely! But wait, what can I do for Him? Love and adore Him during this journey called life and for eternity.
“Nativity Sets” are usually comprised of multiple figures -- Mary, Joseph, the Angels, the Wise Men, and the Shepherds who surround the Christ Child. Nativity Sets adorn my home during this very special time of year! I started my Nativity Set collection in a little store in Venice (Murano) at 16 years old. The only glass blown Nativity set I could afford was 3 cm in height – oh, but it is so precious to me! When placed on the little mirrored disk – it takes up no more than 2 inches. The turquoise glass has been crafted so beautifully by artisans – St Joseph’s lantern swings gently back and forth; our blessed Mother’s profile serene; and then, there is the delicate halo on the Christ Child. Since that day, each time I would see a Nativity Set that epitomized the beautiful scene of the Christ Child – whether it was hewn out of wood, glass, or ceramic -- I would find a space for it in my home. Over the years I’ve collected quite a few! So, you may be asking – “why all these nativity sets” – why not just one? I don’t know – I can’t answer that question.
I do know that I love Christmas! I want to celebrate the coming of the Christ Child and the promise He brings to the world! I love the idea of starting over – I love all that Christmas inspires in us – generosity, forgiveness, happiness, laughter, humility, and finally love! I love that Christ comes to the world and to each of us over and over again. What I do know is that each time I see a Nativity set – whether it be the beauty of the figure or the face, the colours of the wood, the beauty of the stable, the intricacies or the simplicity– I would like to make a place for them in my home.
Possibly, it is that I see, in each of the figures in these sets, various representations of “me” in this journey called life – whether it be the ordinary, humble shepherd or the wise man eagerly seeking wisdom, or a loving mother wanting to protect her innocent child -- all centred on the Christ Child!
What I do know for sure – someday I want to be in that sacred stable in Bethlehem in whatever role God chooses for me! I wish for you all that is good!