The Best Piece (and a Giveaway!)

I’m trading in my ba-humbugs this year.  I’ve decided to upgrade to joy and wonder and peace.

I always feel like as a mom and a teacher that I’m supposed to be IN to Christmas.  But I’m just not.  If I had no tree in the den, no Christmas music on the radio, and no cookies baking in the oven, I’d be just fine.  Very fine, actually.  So much of Christmas feels like work to me.  So many lists to check off, traditions to carefully navigate between families, and don’t even get me started on the money.  Ugh.

But I’ve been feeling some gentle nudges this year to look at things differently.  Focus less on the have-to’s and more on the get-to’s.  I’m trying to listen.

So today I got to spend the day shopping with my mom.  I must admit we actually had fun.  We waited in a line outside a store for our first time, chatted with a few other crazy people in the cold, and cheered when they actually had the item we wanted on the shelf.  We made memories today while also making my list of have-to’s get-to’s shorter.

IMG_1565One of the things that we happened upon in Michael’s was this felt nativity set.  So while Grandma & Grandpa drove home, Daddy was relaxing, and Chica was busy making a paper countdown-to-Christmas chain, Bubba and I opened up our new treasure.  We dumped all of the pieces onto the sofa, then tried to rebuild the scene while I translated the story into two year old language.

That’s a stable.  It’s where the animals lived.

That’s a wise man.  He brought gifts to baby Jesus.  See it in his hand?

No, silly.  That’s not a horse.  It’s a donkey.  Hee-haw!

See the star?  God put the star in the sky to tell people where Jesus was.

That’s another wise man. He has a present for baby Jesus.

That’s Jesus’ mommy.  Her name is Mary.

There’s his daddy.  He’s Joseph.

That’s an angel.  He says, “Glory to God in the highest!”

Ohhh….here’s baby Jesus.  He goes in the manger.

Again and again we built it and dumped it, built it and dumped it.  Each time he would describe a few more pieces on his own.  Donkey?  Star?  Angel?  Jesus Mommy?

As I watched him and listened, I all of a sudden realized something so beautiful and obvious but profound.  Each time we dumped the pieces, he had to find the Baby Jesus first.  Where Baby Jesus go?  He would arrange Jesus just so on the straw and then on the manger before fiddling with any of the other pieces.  One time I even watched him lay Baby Jesus carefully over top of Mary like she was holding him.  Baby Jesus was his favorite piece.  The best piece.

And hasn’t it been that way with each nativity set for me too?  The old one at my Grandma’s house.  The white ceramic one on my parents’ mantle.  The plastic set I bought when Chica was an infant.  Isn’t baby Jesus always the best part?  The part you want to touch and inspect and put smack in the middle with everyone looking towards him?

So why not in my life too?  WHY NOT IN CHRISTMAS?!?!  Thank you, Bubba, for such a loud and clear message.  I hear you.  I get it.

Jesus, come be the most important piece of my Christmas.
The best piece.
The peace.


125_bI heard about something this week that I think may help my little family keep Jesus in the center this Christmas.  It’s called Truth in the Tinsel, and it’s a Christmas devotion & craft e-book just for little guys.  I gathered all of the craft materials this week, and we are eagerly awaiting Sunday to start!


Interested in joining us in this journey?  I’d love to give away a copy to one lucky reader.  All you have to do is leave a comment here on this post.  I’ll draw a random name at noon on December 1st  and e-mail the winner a link to download his or her own copy.

Merry Christmas, friends!