I collect nativities. I have almost 30 of them out this Christmas, though I must have left some at my parents’ when we moved because I remember some that are not here.
I think I have a total of around 35. The rest will come with my parents when they move in with us.
My collection started innocently enough. I had three or four of them and they made me happy.
I happened to mention to Uncle Ralph that I seemed to have started a nativity collection and I loved to look at them.
He gave me one that Christmas. And another the next Christmas. And then another. And then he started giving me an amazing Lenox nativity part by part. That one is utterly amazing and beautiful to look at.
Some of my nativities are tiny. Some are big. Some represent other cultures. Some are just silly. One even doubles as an Advent calendar.
One doesn’t match at all and was found piece by piece at antique stores. One came from Panama where my Uncle Lawrence was serving as a Catholic priest.
One was made by Ani and Cameron when they were 8 and 9ish using upside down clay pots as part of a Christmas study we were using that December from Discover the Scriptures.
Every one of my nativities has a story. This one is from Uncle Ralph, that one is from my best friend Kimberlee, this one was made by my mom.
Looking at them brings me joy. Thinking about where I got each one and who gave them to me brings me even greater joy.
The best part is they only come out once a year for a few weeks. This means they are not cluttering up my house year round and becoming part of the background that I don’t even really see when I look around.
Instead, they remain very special. Putting them out, I remember their stories. Looking at them those few weeks each year, they make me happy. I truly love my nativity collection.