Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My dogs, Christmas and Nativities...

Today we started hauling boxes into the house. Most of the furniture is in here, a little dusty and worse for wear. Now we have to empty the boxes. In the old days opening boxes was like Christmas - the anticipation of being surrounded by my things was fun. Now its a little tedious. We packed in two stages this last time selecting some things to go in storage while the house was for sale in Texas. Because I was in a rush I didn't bother with some labeling. Its disconcerting to open a box expecting dishes and find plant stands instead!

After lunch I decided I was taking a nap! Naturally Flint and Echo have to take one with me. The lump on the other side of the dogs is me. Echo slung her foot over Flint's neck so Richard took a picture!

And since this is the Christmas season and my favorite holiday, I'll be sharing some of our traditions.

One of my hobbies is collecting Nativities from around the world. I've decided to share pictures of some of the ones I own. I know they aren't true representations of how Jesus came into this world, they're simply cultural interpretations. Regardless, I see Christ's birth as a celebration and if our representation isn't perfect at least our hearts don't deny the event. So I collect Nativities. I leave some around the house all year and others only come out at Christmas. My goal is to one day have them on display year around.

My friends have taken to finding unusual representations for me. One year I was ranting to Bun-Chu (my daughters' college roommate and one of my "adopted" daughters)how the Nativities always have the shepherd but never the flock! Usually only one or two sheep are in the Nativities. Luke 2:8 says that shepherds were watching their flocks - and a flock is way more than two!

Bun-Chu makes little tiny dolls out of felt, beads and other things. Each year for Christmas she gave me pieces to the Nativity she was making for me. The first year I received the Holy Family, the stable and the manger. Each new year, she added one component to my Nativity. The wisemen, the camels, the animals. In 2004, she gave me the last of the Nativity. I opened the box to find one hundred sheep. Ninety-nine were white sheep. One was black. Here is the entire Nativity. The black sheep is just in front of the camel too the right on the lower shelf.

I am praying as I find the Christmas boxes that my sheep are unharmed.

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