Little Christmas

Happy Epiphany! Today, I moved my little Wiseman to the manger. We always celebrated “Little Christmas” in our house. There was always a small treat waiting at our places at the dinner table. It was that last little special time of Christmas. Once, there was a very big Epiphany present waiting for us.

Our Church was raffling off a Nativity Set and my sister and I bought so many tickets we were convinced we had won. But when they announced the winner at midnight mass, it was not us. That was alright, we thought, another family needed it more than us.  But the Church store had one left and my parents bought it for us as a surprise. We could not believe it. Lovingly touching the beautiful little figures we were in awe, that was a wonderful Epiphany dinner we had that night admiring our little set placed on my Great-Grandmother’s hutch.

I love nativity scenes. One of my favorite belongs to my Grandmother. My Great-Grandfather, Papa Nome had it built in Italy for their Church. It is so exquisitely crafted. The colors on the 1950’s Italian style Creche are still as vivid today as it was when he first pried open the wooden crates and lifted them out of their hay beds.

When I was younger the Church decided to replace it with a smaller version and were going to throw this set out. My grandmother would not allow it and brought it home, where she proudly displayed it on the hall table every Christmas.

It was the first thing you saw when you came in through the door. It said very simply to me, “Christmas”, Christmas is here.  Some of the pieces are a little worse for wear and the donkey is missing an ear. But the colors are still bright and the story is still there and as I moved my Magi this morning to the stable door, I thought of her doing the same thing.