Every year before Christmas, one of my favourite days was Christmas Tree decorating. We would put on music, maybe have some eggnog, wear something festive and get a chance to remember all the special ornaments we had saved throughout the years. There would always be a little argument about who got to put the Angel on the top of the tree because that meant that Daddy got to lift you up and you got a special picture putting it up. Being the type A that I am, I eventually documented whose turn it was each year so we could refer back without having to trust our memories (For some reason each of us always remembered we hadn't put the Angel up in at least 2 years).
After the tree is all decorated and the Angel has made her way to the top, Mom would step in and set out the Manger. She would pull out the special box that was full of figurines wrapped in pretty colours of paper towel (It is kind of like tissue paper, but more special!) and unwrap them slowly, one at a time and admire the intricacy of them and gently put them in their place in the manger. When we were young, we always wanted to help, but it wasn't until we were much older that we were allowed to start helping by unwrapping the figurines and handing them to Mom and slowly we have come to today when we are allowed to do the whole process (but only if we are just as loving and careful with them).
So why is our nativity scene so special? Well it was hand painted by my Sittie (Grandmother) and given to my Mom. It's beautiful and irreplaceable and we now understand why it is something to be treated very gently and lovingly.
This year, I got my very own nativity scene- hand painted by my Mommy. Not only that, but my Daddy built the manger that the figurines go in. It is made with Balsa wood and he hand painted it as well.
Let me show you:
Mom looked everywhere for a place that sells these figurines that you can paint. Dad designed the whole manger himself and even added some glitter to the star which he cut out of Balsa wood. (It has a small piece of Velcro on the back for easy removal to carefully pack it away)
Each figurine also has "Mom 2010" on the bottom and each one has a special word painted on the inside.
Each year as I put this out, I know I will feel the love put into each piece and slowly take them out of their box and packaging and admire then and carefully place them under the tree.
Do you have a special nativity or other decoration you love to put out each year?