A Simple Search For A Nativity

by Cindi Sutter, Founder of The Spirited Table®

Merry Christmas Eve! Thanks for sitting with me for a smidgen over a year. 

My house is usually filled to the brim with family at Christmas—so this particular Christmas Eve, even though a bit quieter, I was overtaken upon waking, with the fact, it really hasn’t been calmer. Why? 
Usual life reasons, website, personal life, an abundance of opportunities to be with friends and family over the last month, a home in a bit of organizational turmoil (one way to say a chaotic disaster). In the scheme of life, I am amazingly blessed this season. But the traditions that keep me close to the memories of my Mother, who died almost 30 years ago, my Grandmothers who kept the torch of family and hospitality alive in my sisters and me, and the simple but profound power of unwrapping the Christmas decorations that have meaning, especially the nativities I collect, are missing this year—we didn’t do our usual decorating. 

But then it hit me, I’m not calmer because I haven’t focused enough on the baby that changed the face of the world and my life. Why? Ok, this is going to sound ridiculous but I absolutely adore the calming balm of the nativity—the Peace He brought to the world, to me—but I haven’t shed as much of His Peace this season. 

So this morning I did it, I went on the hunt through a few Christmas storage boxes in the furnace room; really on Christmas Eve? For those of you without a basement, it’s cold down here and I’m searching for a nativity. So why do I search when He lives in my heart? For me, it’s that physical, tangible, visual reminder of that lowly manger, that held Immanuel, translated, God with us. 

It’s tempting for me to compare my search to that of the Magi, but needless to say their conditions were extreme; but we do have one thing in common, when we find Him and understand the depth of what He did, His life on Earth, we are called to step out and sit beside Him, feel the nearness of Immanuel, the God who is with us when we ask Him to join us. 

One of my favorite sayings is “God most certainly has an amazing sense of humor” and today he’s really messing with me. He knows I like for things to match, so guess what, my search for a nativity ended when I found pieces of 2 different nativities. The ridiculous “matching” part of me thought, keep digging until you find the two that go together, don’t fret, I’m not quite that bad. Besides, He is the perfect match for all of us. 

So I offer you the baby Jesus, Joseph and Mary, housed in a manger that is certainly nicer than their original quarters. What does he really want this Christmas? Our hearts.  

Our Christmas card this year reads…Wishing you Joy, Faith and Peace in every heart. 

Keep digging and sitting beside Him—Merry Christmas!!

PS. Ok, I can't make this stuff up. I found photos of my "matching" nativities, Angels and Christmas trees when I went to post my simple nativity...

So now you and I can enjoy them together. I rest my case on the sense of humor quotient.