Please forgive this post being so long in coming! We are most quiet at Christmas, not because we don’t believe in it or celebrate it, but because we do believe and celebrate soooooooo much!!!!! It’s been a most blessed and FULL season!!
Sarah’s and Adelynn’s favorite activity all through December was playing “baby Jesus” with the little nativity sets Grandma Hoffman had given the children a few years ago. They innocently broke a few pieces in their busy play. My dear brother and his wife called one night and asked if they could give Adelynn and Sarah an early Christmas present. When they presented this wrapped gift to these baby girls they were EXCITED. Just watching them unwrap it was wonderful, but more wonderful was how much these Little Sisters treasured the gift within. A Nativity set, unbreakable and complete with charming little details these girls would love, like a tiny mouse hiding in a bucket covered with grass, & a little campfire for Jesus to keep warm, a donkey to ride on, but most of all the girls cherished “Baby Jesiss” and “yittew namy” which being interpreted is ‘baby Jesus and little lamby”. They say those names with such joy as they hold the little tiny Jesus and “tiny yittew namy” with most careful, reverent endearment.
Sarah and Addie, but especially Sarah, played “Baby Jesiss” unceasingly. Sarah forgot she needed food or rest, I had to work hard to coax her away from the Nativity long enough to meet the necessary requirements of the day. I would only succeed when she came away holding little lamby and Baby Jesus in her tiny fists and I was carrying the manger to our new destination whether it be the kitchen or family room or her room. It was precious to behold her special attachment to this beloved Christmas tradition.
Well, Christmas Eve we had decided to Christmas carol and planned that on the way home that we would stop at the barn to do our traditional acting-out of the nativity from Luke 2. As we arrived at the barn, we turned on the Christmas lights we had hung up a couple weeks before. Mike quickly re-constructed the manger we had used the year before for a youth activity & put some hay in it. We passed out some traditional nativity costumes we had collected over the years and everyone quickly put them on. Mike and the children had assigned parts earlier that day: Zoie Grace as the narrator, Clara as the angel, Esther, Emily, Anna, Mikela & Kate as wisemen, shepherds, donkey and innkeeper, respectively. Mike was assigned to be Joseph, I was to be Mary, and last of all, Sarah as Baby Jesus and Adelynn as a little lamb.
How could I not have realized how important this would be to Adelynn and Sarah? Yet I had not, until this moment when we told them their roles and put on their little costumes and I was surprised at what I saw in their eyes and manner. They not only baffled us with their apparent and complete understanding of what was going on, but with how they clearly they TREASURED it!! Their awe put us in awe. We rejoiced and were amazed at the Nativity anew because of the way Adelynn and Sarah were whole-heartedly involved and compliant and happy in and obviously LOVED these tender roles at their very tender age. Sarah lay so still, reverencing the honor of being baby Jesus, acting as meek and mild as He must have, all wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger – with sweet, gentle happiness beaming from her little self. She was trying to hide her smile, it seemed she did this so that she could perform this very serious role better. It made us smile all the more (trying to hide our happy smiles too). And then “yittew nam” (Adelynn) came up in wondering awe, kneeling all on her own accord so appropriately beside the manger, and whispered, “Sarah – Baby Jesiss”. She just stared in quiet, reverent awe as the little shepherds must have done when they found the Son of God, just as the angels had told them.
Oh! It was one of those private, treasured, of-the-heart, stay-forever Christmas moments for our whole family as we witnessed the story of Jesus’ birth again through our Little Ones’ eyes, felt the Spirit of truth testify to us of that sacred, real event from the meridian of time.
I am so grateful for the treasure of Christmas, for the miracle of Christ’s birth and life, for the Spirit of truth that witnesses of this Holy Event to me, to all the world. I’m so grateful for a day when so much of the world comes together to recognize Him, to be thankful for the gift of Life that was offered to us.
As we drive past homes with evergreens in the windows, decorated with red (the symbol of everlasting life given through His blood), and see Christmas lights strung atop homes and doorways and bushes and trees alike (the symbol of The Light of the World given to man), when I see children’s eyes lit up with joy and delight and HOPE that Father Christmas will bring them good gifts, (just as our Heavenly Father gives us good gifts, has given us the greatest gift of all), and when I see strangers, neighbors and friends, siblings and parents and grandparents sacrifice themselves in order to GIVE to those they LOVE at Christmas, (a symbol of the sacrifices of our Savior Himself), I am filled with that incredible Christmas feeling, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Truth and Light, and can’t help but rejoice with all the world, even with shepherds and wise men and my own Little Ones of today, in Jesus!
A belated, but very sincere wish for Merry Christmas in your heart – all year long!