...Nativity scene with all the cousins.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks by night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked,
"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?
We saw his star in the east and have come to worship Him."
The shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph,
and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
When they had seen him, they spread the word
concerning what had been told them about this child,
and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God
for all the things they had heard and seen,
which were just as they had been told.
(from Luke 2 & Matthew 2)
The photoshoot: Back in September when I decided to do Adelynn's alphabet, I flipped through the calendar to see what letter would land the week before Christmas. From that moment on, I started mentally planning the nativity scene with all the Family Farm cousins. It was absolutely a group effort to get this picture.
Since my sewing skills are lacking, Aunt Jane (grandma to two of the "wisemen" and "Joseph") and I went to Joanne's Fabric to get material, and then she sewed the costumes.
She and my cousin Donnelle were on hand to pin and tie and wrangle the kids into their costumes. Aunt Jane and Uncle Don also graciously loaned their Turkish antiques for props.
Thank you, Aunt Jane, for the sewing!
Thank you Sarah for taking the photos! (We have a good system: she takes the photos, and I Photoshop them. Love it.)
And thank you, Dad, for building the manger. I think Addie kind of liked it.
She was so happy! Too bad we weren't doing a full-on Christmas program because that girl would have soaked it all in. Not too many babies get a moment to play Baby Jesus, so Addie made sure to shine.
The reason for the photo: Obviously, there are lots of things I could have done for the letter "N," but I chose Nativity because the birth of Jesus is one of the cornerstones of my faith, and the faith of everyone here on the Family Farm. Yes, Christmas is about family and giving, but for my family and me, it's more than that.
When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)
I've received many wonderful gifts this year--Jason's employment, a beautiful baby, another year with family--but more than anything, I'll be celebrating the gift I gratefully accepted many years ago: the gift of love in the form of a tiny baby who arrived in a stable on a starry night in Bethlehem so very long ago.
Merry Christmas to all.