Last year, Jack was about a year and a half old at Christmas and the one thing he wanted most was to play with my Nativity set. I didn’t want any pieces of my set to get broken (it’s a Precious Moments set that my mom got for me on eBay because it’s just like the one she has that I always loved when I was little, and it would probably be hard to find replacement pieces), so I bought this plastic Peanuts Nativity that Jack could play with. We actually made it through the whole season last year without losing any pieces, and I packed it away with the rest of the decorations.
This year, I set it up again and after just a few days of it being out, we lost Baby Jesus. I know – of all the things to lose, right? Baby Jesus is a pretty important part of the set, you know? I’ve kept the rest of the set out, hoping that one day when I’m cleaning up toys I’ll come across Baby Jesus in a random toy box, but so far he’s nowhere to be found.
Unlike the Baby Jesus in our Nativity set, the real Jesus isn’t hard to find. He’s always there, easily accessible whenever we call on Him. But it seems that many times, we’ve filled our holidays with so much stuff that we’ve “lost” Jesus. Somehow, the One who is the reason we celebrate gets pushed aside for parties and presents and to-do lists.
There are so many fun traditions that go along with Christmas, and I enjoy lots of them. I want my kids to remember looking at Christmas lights and making cookies for Santa and watching fun Christmas movies about Rudolph and Frosty; but in the midst of all those fun traditions, I don’t want them to miss out on the most important story of the season – the story of the birth of Jesus.
Losing Baby Jesus from the Nativity set definitely felt like a mom fail moment for me, but it’s just a piece of plastic. The real failure will be if I allow the busyness of this season to cause me to lose sight of the reason we celebrate in the first place. The ultimate failure would be raising children who don’t know about Jesus.
So, despite our incomplete Nativity set, I’m taking some time today to pull out our Bibles and read the Christmas story with my boys and teach them about Jesus.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!