If I had decorated for Christmas this year–which I didn’t–I would now be taking decorations down and storing for next Christmas.
We had a painter working to rejuvenate the outside of our almost forty-year-old home. He did a fabulous job painting and power washing. The house looks clean and fresh. Unfortunately weather delays meant he didn’t finish until December 23. We decided it was too late to put up decorations only to take them down three days later.
Not decorating gave me extra time to read subscription blogs, which had piled up like old newspapers used to do.
Imagine my surprise when one of my favorite blogs, Her View From Home popped up with a picture of my nativity angel and a heart-warming blog.
Turns out Her View from Home blogger, Megan Hanlon had the exact same manger I have when she was growing up. Only the angel she’d named Gloria and loved playing with as a child had gone missing by the time she inherited the set.
I’d received my nativity set as a thank-you for an estate sale I’d done many years ago. I always said someday I’d research its origin, or provenance. Never did.
Ms. Hanlon wanted a replacement Gloria to share her memories with her children. She searched the web. Finally, on eBay, she located “a white box with an outdated Sears & Roebuck Trim Shop logo and a picture of four figurines: a guitar-playing lad, a bearded man carrying a basket of bread, an angry camel, and a ginger-haired angel in a blue dress draped with a banner that proclaimed “Gloria.” All the pieces were there according to the listing.
She’d found her Angel Gloria replacement and, thanks to her blog, I now know where my set came from and its age.
Figures were missing from mine too—the four additional characters. I only had Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus and a homemade manager structure. No sheep or shepherds, no camel, no “guitar-playing lad” or “man with a basket of bread,” and no Magi.
Missing Magi didn’t matter to me. Those kings didn’t show up at the manger anyway, but arrived later where Jesus lived as a small child. The sheep and shepherds I substituted from other sets. I’d bought a shepherd playing bagpipes in Ireland that I use. Still no man with a bread basket, but I may search eBay to complete my set with those original pieces.
For sure, next year when I set up my nativity for Christmas, I’ll be smiling and thinking of Ms. Hanlon’s children playing with her Gloria angel.
You can read her touching blog about “Finding Gloria” here.
Oh, Judythe…. misspelled your name. So sorry.
Additional comment. My nativity scene has a broken piece, so I didn’t set it out. I’ve had it for years, so the jostling around could have been the culprit. They were in the attic and now all Christmas related items are kept in plastic bins with lids in our walk-in closet. I do like the nativity scene because it is the reason for the season. Must replace mine for next year.
So glad to hear Ms. Hanlon has a completed the nativity scene to enjoyfor years to come.
No worries on shortening Judythe to Judy. It’s what I’m used to hearing. I decided to use my full name for publishing because I thought it’d stay in the readers mind. =) Happy New Year!
Happy New Year.
I too scaled back on Christmas and only put decorations I had that related to my children and my husband. Didn’t put up our tree until December 23. Our kiddos come over Christmas Eve, so decided not to pull all the Christmas stuff after Thanksgiving, but left it to December 23rd. Purchased this tree a couple of years ago after seeing daughter’s and she said it was easy to put up and came with lights…. changes 3 different colors with remote. Plus, she had a Train in the Tree on her’s, and of course, I had to have one too. Love trains and my brother & I played with his original Lionel set as a youngsters. But there’s a story about that. Mother rented the house and a lot of treasures were left in the attic, along with my brothers train, my brother’s original scout uniform, original portrait picture of my mother pregnant with me and a few other irreplaceables. It is what it is, so I’ve had to let it go.
As far as next year, we may or may not put up the tree. I have for years been the one to organize the get together for Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving, but it has become a challenge and believe ending 2020 will be ending that routine. Either I’m going to my son’s or my daughter’s, but I’ll think about that tomorrow as Scarlett O’Hara says.
One of the good things to come from 2020, in my opinion, is that I’ve learned that “same” does have to always be the “same.” I’m not crazy about most of the changes 2020 forced on us, but I do think there comes a time when we pass the baton to the young-uns and give them their turn. =)