Monday, December 15, 2014

Preserving Christmas Memories

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season we need to take a few moments to relax, reflect and count our blessings.  When you think about the meaning of the nativity scene, you realize the gift of love that we all have been given.

Over the years we have collected a large assortment of nativity scenes.  Each one has a special memory for us.  Some were purchased in our travels.  Others were given as gifts by friends and family.  As we unpack them and put them on display, the memories of the people, times and places start to flood back.  We enjoy reminiscing about each little creche.

Perhaps you have special Christmas memories that you would like to preserve.  Write your memories down.  Put a note with those special Christmas ornaments recording how they were acquired.  When families are gathered together at Christmas, this is a good time to make a recording of stories and memories,   You could also record the family performing a favorite Christmas carol.

So as a way of practicing what I preach, here are few notes about some of our favorite nativity scenes:

Our First Christmas 1976

This simple little crèche was from our first Christmas together as a married couple.  I guess you could say that this one was the precursor for the many that have followed. 

From El Mercado in San Antonio in 1980s

When we were living in Reno in the 1980's, we traveled to San Antonio for the first time to attend a conference.  This was probably the first time that we were ever in Texas as a couple.  We purchased this at El Mercado in San Antonio.   Also known as Market Square, it is the largest Mexican market in the U.S. We have been back to San Antonio twice since we settled here in Texas.

From a bazaar at 1st UMC Reno 1990s.

Also while we were in Reno, we purchased this ceramic nativity scene from a bazaar at First United Methodist Church.  The church  built in 1926 is architecturally significant as it is one of the first poured concrete buildings in Reno and utilizes Gothic Revival architectural themes. Coincidentally, Gram Elaine and Grandpa George were married by the minister of this church in 1937.  We attended several services there too in the 1980's and 1990's.

Bilbao, Spain 1997

Our daughter, Nicole, got this scene in Spain during a semester abroad in Bilbao.  She gave it to us as a Christmas gift in 1997.

Sundance Film Festival about 2001

This little marble-size set was a gift from our daughter, Suzy.  She found it while attending the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.  She was a student at St. Mary’s College of California at the time.

From a visit to Beaufort, South Carolina 2006

We purchased this ceramic nativity scene on a trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina in 2006.  We were with our friends Mark and Bonnie on one of our January “Big Chill” reunions.

Nutcracker Market, Houston 2010

This set was purchased for our first Christmas in Texas in 2010.  We found it at the annual Nutcracker Market at the Reliant Center.  That was also where we found our metal sculpture of the “Yellow Rose of Texas” that we have in the backyard.

Kenya Methodist Mission Trip 2012

The most recent acquisition is from our friend, Chris, who purchased this set made of corn husks in Kenya.  Several of our friends from church were on a mission trip to the Methodist Hospital there.

I hope this inspires you to start jotting down a few of your memories.  Remember the reason for the season! Merry Christmas!

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