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Tuesday, December 13, 2016


My brother is visiting us this Christmas and will be taking care of our mother here while the rest of us fly away for a much-needed break. I gave my brother the job of setting out the many nativity sets in my mother’s and my collection, and today he got them all in place—different places than where I’ve put them before—I felt I needed change this year.

Our mother started collecting these sets long ago and had over fifty when I started collecting them too. She moved in with me and we weeded out the duplicates and have acquired more over the years.

I went around the house and photographed a good share of them; here they are.

My dad had this one when he was a child. The poor donkey is long gone; I remember my siblings and me fighting over who got to play with him. Of course we were not supposed to be playing with any of the pieces, but we did and that is why the Christ child that originally belonged to this set is missing. It is also why the cow lacks ears or horns and everybody is worn smooth around all the edges.

Perhaps it is fitting that early on we should see the scenes of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem to be taxed. That the Savior of the world should be born to poor people struggling to comply with the inconvenient and difficult demands of a foreign government that kept them oppressed and under the thumb of a little tyrant is fitting. We (at least in the USA) cannot complain that much about our modern prosperity and relative freedom when we compare, can we? But we ought to take notice and watch what is happening right now lest the precious gifts we enjoy come under threat of loss.

This set was given us piece by piece over the course of ten nights by some neighbors who decided to be our “Secret Friend” many years ago. Our son was little then, and he was enchanted by the growing scene. The last piece to come, fittingly, was the babe in the manger. We never found out who gave us this gift, and thus we never lost the need to pay it forward. Piece by piece, a small deed at a time, we may make a change for good in this old world.

We bought this piece in Bethlehem ten years ago for my mother. It has been a treasure to her, and it reminds us of the lovely rocky hillside covered with scrub trees and rough desert forage for the herds of sheep that still graze that area. We had gone into a little cave in the side of one of the hills just outside the city, and there a Christian Arab told us about the traditions of the shepherds. We felt some of the wonder and awe that the story has always held for the believer.
This is the last gift from my brother Dan, who passed away almost a year ago. How I miss him!

My sister-in-law gave me this nesting egg set of scenes of the Savior’s life: His birth, baptism, teachings, Atonement, and Resurrection. He lives today. You can know Him. He certainly knows you.

He is our greatest Friend; if only we will love everyone, the easiest and the hardest alike, we can become like Him and all be the friends we were meant to be. Let us shine that Light in the darkness and banish that darkness.

A very merry Christmas to all, and a bright new year.


  1. I love all of your nativity sets. I have collected several of my own, but not any where near 50. Guess I'll have to get to work. Thank you for sharing, Marci!

  2. What a wonderful collection you have!


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