Monday, November 30, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

Watching the freeway blur past me as we drove home in our car I realized that we were traveling on the first Sunday in Advent.

"Too far behind." I thought to myself. Our trip to my hometown of Boise came suddenly, unexpectedly to attend a Celebration of Life service for the passing of a dear friends mother. My plans for Thanksgiving weekend put on the back burner. I was so grateful that I could be there to support my friend - to catch up with her in person, to take her out to dinner and make the kind of small talk only lifelong friends know how to, even in the face of loss. But as we sped home last night I couldn't help but think of all the things we hadn't done.

Thanksgiving dishes still on the counter. Clothes strewn about from careless packing. Autumn decorations up, Christmas decorations still in boxes. Delayed Etsy orders to finish and get out to wonderfully understanding customers.

So this morning, when I woke up and surveyed the mess that was my home I took a deep breath and went straight to box that held my favorite Christmas decoration. Our nativity set.

New to us last year, I found this fabulous set on Etsy at
Jalu Toys and I knew it was the set I had been searching for.

We had a perfectly functioning nativity set - A ceramic one made by Snow Village. And while it was beautiful, it wasn't very practical with a toddler. I wanted something natural, something warm, something my son could hold on to, touch, and learn about without the fear of breaking, or adults pushing little fingers out of the way.

And it was at Jalu Toys that I found it

This morning, as I unwrapped each piece, my son stared, wide eyed in wonder. "Pretty Mama." He said as I pulled out the camels.

"Oh! Mama!" He exclaimed as The Holy Family was put into place. "A baby!"

And while the rest of the house still sat in shambles, while dishes lay in the sink and clothes decided they didn't want to wash themselves we sat together quietly looking at the nativity set. And I pondered my thought yesterday with irony, "Too much to do."

The important work has already been done. Whatever burdens I feel during the holiday are of my own creation. In this season of joy, I vow to slow down. To remember the true meaning behind Christmas. It's not about presents, or the perfect Christmas dinner, or parties to attend, or hundreds of cards to get out (which - by the way family - if you're reading this, I'm giving myself a pass on Christmas cards this year.) It's about remembering family, spending time with them. Loved ones. Togetherness. And if you celebrate more than a secular Christmas season as we do, it's about that tiny little baby born in a manger.

Yours in preparation,
Simple Mama.

Oh...and while you're pondering the meaning of the holiday season - please take a moment to check out Gardenmamas latest giveaway from Imagination Childhood.
Giveaway Here


  1. I am so sorry for your friend's mother. :(

    Your nativity set is so sweet. That's how we feel about ours, too. We just got it last week actually and it has yet to make it's appearance in the manger but we've been letting the girls play with them and they are in LOVE.

  2. this is just what I needed to read today. thanks

  3. I loved what you said about your nativity set being solid enough for your son to hold on to and learn from without the fear of breaking.

    And I so agree about remembering the true meaning of Christmas and that any burdens felt are of ones own creations. I often forget myself.

  4. I love it! We always put our nativities up on Dec 1, so tomorrow. :) That's right, nativities. One for the little hands and one for mama. Yours is so beautiful. You definitely held out for just the right one!

  5. What a beautiful nativity set and even more beautiful sentiments... thanks for the reminder

  6. The Jalu set is really special. I love the detail on them! Happy Advent.

  7. it is so true that our burdens are of our own creation. thanks for reminding me of that. my house and life are a bit similar. i lost a friend this past week and it has affected me in ways i would never have predicted. i know time will heal. i am just grateful for the honesty this morning. it's a dose of exactly what i needed.
    i am glad you are home safely...because really, that's what matters.

    thanks sweet friend.

  8. Just to let you know I've referenced this post here: