Nativity Scenes

4 01, 2021

Discovering My Nativity’s Provenance

By |2020-12-26T10:23:05-06:00January 4th, 2021|A Writer's Life, Holidays|4 Comments

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.

Image via Megan Hanlon

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 Finally, on eBay, she located “a white box with an outdated Sears & Roebuck Trim Shop logo and a picture of four figurines: a guitar-playing lad, a bearded man carrying a basket of bread, an angry camel, and a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.

22 12, 2017

Nativity Scenes

By |2017-12-21T09:56:38-06:00December 22nd, 2017|Friday on the Miller Farm, Holidays, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I began collecting nativity scenes before the birth of our first child, Catherine. Beekeeper Brian was selling pens at craft fair booth and traded a pen for a wooden nativity set.  We thought it would be something our child could safely enjoy.  I also made a cloth set which has since gone to live with Catherine.

Our collection includes a plaster of Paris piece which I painted at a vacation Bible School when I was in elementary school and another clay set Matthew made in junior high.

The one I brought back from our time in Mexico is painted tin and very light weight.  As such, it tends to fall over and last year I didn’t set it out.  This year I hadn’t made a decision about it but the grandmother of a piano student from Mexico saw it and lovingly bent each piece so it would stand upright.And they are still standing.

Each time I walk past the coffee table, I remember her kneeling and arranging each piece of the nativity.  It is amazing to think that the birth of a child so many years ago still has an impact on people today.

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