The staircase is draped in greens and berries, candles and wreaths crown every corner, and our ten foot Fraser fir stands tall in the center of the great room. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Farm Grove, but the decoration that causes a flutter of nostalgic Christmas feelings is not glitter sparkling. It is the humble cardboard nativity scene that belonged to my grandparents.
As I carefully fit the worn edges together for perhaps the fiftieth time, images of Christmas past at Grandma’s house flood my memory bank…date pinwheels, bowls of oranges, and long cellophane ropes of candy canes. The nativity scene sat on top of Grandpa’s T.V., not pride-of-place so much as the only place it would fit in their small bungalow. The decoration wasn’t a particular favorite for me at the time–there were cousins to play with, presents to open, and pies and cookies to eat. But it was always there, a part of what made Christmas, Christmas.
Now, sitting on the buffet flanked by candles and greens, Grandma’s nativity infuses my home with happy memories. How remarkable that those worn paper figures have the power to make me feel like a child again, at Christmas.