It’s December 2nd, 2020.

Masks are mandated. Numbers are rising. Beds are scarce. But questions, suppositions, and theories continue to be thrown around like the leaves which so recently scattered in the frantic winds of central Kansas.

People are no longer questioning the existence of Covid but the contradictory information which floods our senses. This worldwide pandemic has all peoples – near and far – in a confused funk! This time last year, who could have imagined what we’d face as we prepare for Christmas of 2020? Not I.

Let’s take a little more pleasant journey. Let’s forget about germs and think about Jesus!

Join me as I reveal more of my creche collection and tell their stories. This month-long narrative is a gift to future generations; to my grands, their kids, and their grands. Perhaps one day one of these creches will unwrapped by a future generation who is preparing for Christmas. Until then, may you – my reader – be blessed to worship Baby Jesus via this blog.

He IS, after all, the reason for the season! Let’s celebrate His birth!

When I was ready to decorate a few days ago, the first order of business was to carry ALL of my creches up from the basement. Thankfully, Jim was home to help. It’s a daunting task, made easier because last year (at the after-Christmas clearance sales) I bought several plastic cases used to store wreaths. I store my nativities in them; each character wrapped in a bubble wrap sleeve. They’re perfect! They snap together. They stack nicely. And, best of all, their handles make carrying them so much easier. So, once the wreath cases were stacked, I began unwrapping each piece until my dining room table was completed covered. Next on the agenda, was finding the perfect place to display each one.

Jim was in and out of the house several times while I worked. He offered to bring the tree up from the basement, and I wanted to get my nativities out first. Of course, by then, I was running out of steam, and I was also thinking…I asked Jim, “What would you think about NOT putting up the Christmas tree this year?” Granted, most people would’ve STARTED decorating with the tree, but not me. I start with the nativities.

“Would you be okay if we didn’t decorate our tree?” Now, I would have done it if he wanted it, but his response was exactly what I was thinking…”No one will be here to see it anyway, so I guess it’s okay!” Decision made. Whew! Back to my nativities!

Covid has put a damper on friends and families gathering. No more holiday entertaining. No more family gatherings. I’m not happy about it, but I will comply for the sake of others. Jim and I had a thanksgiving dinner for two, and may do the same on Christmas Day – who knows? Either way, this year we won’t have a tree. However, we WILL be surrounded by a plethora of nativities.

Let me share another one…or two…with you…I call this one my Glitter Creche.

With a very simplistic design and only five pieces (Mary holding Jesus, Joseph, and three angels (or maybe wise men??? They look like angels but have gifts, so you decide!!) Anyway, it’s one of my favorites. But aren’t they all?

Each character is about 2.5″ tall and just about that wide, too. Short and squatty, but oh, so cute. The texture is a bit like sandpaper which I really like, too. Certain parts are dusted with gold glitter which adds some beautiful accents to this creche. Another unique feature is that the characters are faceless. That’s not uncommon among nativities and even among dolls in many cultures. So simple. Basic. No distractions. No imperfections. Nothing to take our focus off the creche itself. The Holy Family and the three gathered nearby.

Actually, this would look great with a coastal theme…surrounded by seashells; perhaps on a tray of sand. Now that I mention it, I may have to DO that NEXT year!

Okay…do you ever get sidetracked? I do. (I just DID!) I liked my own idea so much I had to just DO IT even though I was in the middle of writing!

So…after a quick trip to my basement for craft sand and a wooden tray THEN a quick stop to grab some precious seashells I once gathered on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea…here it is…I guess I’ll have to rename it…Glitter & Seashells! What do you think? I love it.

This nativity has no real back story. I cannot remember where I got it. It may have been at a quaint little shop in downtown Sterling KS. I loved to shop there. Unique items. Pleasant atmosphere. Wherever I found it, I was attracted to its simplicity. I still am. May we all strive to focus on the simple things this Christmas.

Okay…next…I cannot wait to share my SKINNY Creche. It’s so amazingly classy, with long lines. Pearly white and sleek. I bought this one several years ago and once again, I don’t remember where. The original creche had Joseph and Mary (holding Baby Jesus), a horse and foal, a camel with its young, and a sheep with two lambs. They’re all tall, slender, smooth as silk, and very breakable.

A couple of years later, I found three white, glittery, skinny trees, and of course, I had to have them. They’re perfectly suited, don’t you think? I added the strings of glass beads, and thought I was done, then a week ago, I found – at a flea market – that shiny, white, filigree ‘screen’ in one of the pictures. I’m not exactly sure what to do with it, but I love how it seems to go with the creche. It was much too busy when I put it right behind the creche – white on white – so I put it to the side with a candle. Feel free to share your ideas. It seems to fit, but I just don’t have the complete ‘look’ I’m striving for…yet.

I have to be creative when I display this one which usually finds its home on my china cabinet, where it’s more protected. I begin with a ‘bed’ of clear glass-like beads, then I position the legs of each animal into (and through) the beads until they’re flat onto the surface below. The beads cushion their fall and even give a little support while adding to the overall look – an aesthetically-pleasing display one, wouldn’t you agree?

One of the quirky things about my Skinny Creche is the backward glance of the young camel. Do you see it? It’s glancing back at Mama as if to say, “Do you SEE Him? Isn’t He beautiful? Can I go a little closer, Mom? Please? Can I?”

And look at the way the Mama horse is standing so majestically, almost bowing its head in reverence to the Christ child. Worshipping, on four legs! I really love this nativity (too)! Glad I could share it with you today.

And, one more nativity today…check out my Pueblo Creche.

I love the terra cotta vibe of this nativity. It’s plain. It’s porous. It’s unglazed. It reminds me of the decor of the Southwest. The clay is white-washed then wiped off leaving the cracks and crevices highlighted in a subtle way. The blue adds a bit of detail. I LOVE the unique stable or pueblo and doesn’t this creche look great next to my Jade tree in that clay pot? This sits on the lower shelf of a small heart-shaped accent table (remember it, Jacque D?)

A friend of mine (Thanks, Deb) found my Pueblo Creche and thought I needed it. She’s part of a Bible study I facilitated for several years. We always met at another friend’s house, but each Christmas I would invite my friends over for a meal. One year, I challenged them as they arrived to guess (or attempt to count) how many nativities I had on display in my kitchen, living room, and dining room. By the end of the evening, we had a wide range of guesses. Several attempted to count! That year I had my tree up, and – though I know it’s hard to believe – I even have nativity ornaments making the counting even more difficult. I don’t remember who won, but the count was 30-something. That was a few years ago…and a few creches ago!

Stay tuned, y’all, as I will reveal at the end of this Creche Countdown how many are NOW in my collection! I hope you’re enjoying this journey! I enjoy reading your comments, so please make my day and tell me what you think.

Thanks for joining me and may Jesus be especially near to your heart today and during this season of Advent.

P.S. to my Grandkids:  Remember…I want you to read my Creche Countdown blog posts, then send me a text or email (or call me) to tell me what you like about each creche I share. Okay? One day you’ll probably get one or two so I want you to know their stories, too. Tell me which ones are your favorites and why. What do you remember most about Gramma Mac’s Christmas Creches?


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