The True Meaning of Christmas

Come one, come all - step right up!

My husband’s grandfather was a talented woodcarver.  One of his most beautiful creations is a nativity set that my in-laws always display at Christmas time.  When our kids were little, they couldn’t resist handling the smooth, wooden figures.  Being a wise woman and a thoughtful grandma, my mother-in-law put the heirloom set up high and bought a cheery, chubby little plastic set.  She put it on a low table so the kids felt free to interact with these vital characters of the Christmas story.

My daughter Gwen was playing at her grandparents’ house when she was about 3-years-old.  After she left, my mother-in-law found she had set all the little figures of the nativity scene in a line.  Mary, Joseph, the wise men, all the other animals, even the Baby Jesus were all lined up, single-file, facing the donkey.  I asked Gwen what was going on.

“They’re waiting their turn” she said solemnly, “to ride the donkey.”

Best wishes to you and your families for a joyful & blessed Christmas.

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means, God with us.

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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58 Responses to The True Meaning of Christmas

  1. Lenore Diane says:

    Well, you know what’s what they did in the manger, while they waited for the baby to arrive. That donkey was getting tired, too.
    Peg-o-Leg, those carvings are gorgeous! The urge to feel the smooth wood is strong. What a wonderful heirloom. Merry Christmas!


  2. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Love this story and the wooden figures! You know, if it was a little boy, he would’ve turned the donkey into a gun and started shooting bad guys.


  3. Janu says:

    Too funny! Thanks for sharing!


  4. Tar-Buns says:

    Nice, Peg. I remember seeing those beautiful wooden figures on your piano years ago – the same ones or is there another set?

    Merry Christmas to all! See you Saturday!


  5. notquiteold says:

    I hope Jesus got his turn to ride the donkey.


  6. notquiteold says:

    And congrats on Freshly Pressed!


  7. How wonderful you have one of his sets. These are smooth in craftsmanship, and smooth from carefully handling over the years I’m sure. My grandmother gifted us a “plastic” set too. I was not so wise and have had to glue heads back on my clay wisemen and sheep, but that’s ok.
    I love this story! One of the precious lines that a mother remembers. Great imagination your Gwen has.


  8. Margie says:

    Well, isn’t that a hoot! My little nativity set only has the central 3 characters. I wonder if the donkey got tired and left…


  9. Love this, Peg!

    Your husband’s grandfather was indeed talented!



  10. What a great story! Merry Christmas to you, Peg!


  11. riatarded says:

    hahah how adorable!


  12. Peg, the Nativity set is beautiful… very Henry Moore-esk. What a wonderful family treasure!


  13. k8edid says:

    Those carvings are lovely…my boys used any kind of figurine for “army guys” so that is probably where some of my nativity peeps went.


  14. gojulesgo says:

    That is a beautiful nativity set! And duh, of course they were waiting for donkey rides – they’re only 5 cents! 😉 Merry Christmas, Peg!


  15. So you are saying it could be a while…
    because I was thinking about grabbing some nachos…


  16. beachmum says:

    just found you and glad I did! Merry Christmas to you and yours!


  17. LadyT says:

    How cute. I love the verse below the photo as well… Merry Christmas!


  18. Libertarian says:

    My favorite nativity story is from my youth… my brother, Jim, always had a great sense of humor like our sister, Peg (O-Leg, that is!!). Jim and I couldn’t have been more than 6-8 yrs. at the time, when he and I were marveling at our parents’ nativity set on the fireplace mantle. Without warning, Jim took one of the shepherds at the scene, and set him on the “back” of the angel Gabriel, who proceeded to take the shepherd for a ride in the sky. After the dude got the ride of his life, Gabriel set him back down, at which time the shepherd (Jim) replied in a high-pitched voice “thanks for the lift, Gabe”! To this day, it’s one of my favorite Jim-and-me stories, and 30+ years later, we still laugh over it!


  19. anngraham says:

    Let’s face it, they would have had to walk everywhere back then, so of course they wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to ride the donkey! Thanks Peg, I’ll be back often to see what new gem you’ve posted. Merry Christmas!


  20. What a treasure to have and share every year…ENJOY!


  21. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    I love this so much, I had to share it! Unfortunately, Facebook didn’t populate any pictures, which (a) it likes to do when I’m trying to post blog entries by you and (b) sucks especially, because I love your pictures so much!. Merry Christmas! I hope it is full of blessings like this one.


  22. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Gorgeous Nativity set! What an heirloom! My sister has my parents’ Nativity set. I have some cast off of theirs, but it’s made of wood so it’s still lovely. My sister has almost a complete set of characters – one year my dog Stella chewed the face off one of the wise men. It was quite devastating for all of us. We thought we’d have to cancel Christmas that year. I have the face still – it’s lying upon some snow in my Nativity scene gazing out with recrimination.


  23. Great story. I love how children are so free and honest with their thinking. Beautiful Nativity set. Like another commenter said, the smooth wood is so touchable. What a treasure.


  24. The Hook says:

    Great opening graphic!


  25. winsomebella says:

    Great story!


  26. pattisj says:

    Thanks for the laugh. Kids are the best entertainment money can’t buy. I guess we do pay dearly for them though, don’t we? That’s a lovely Nativity set, a real treasure.


  27. Fluffy Tufts says:

    The nativity carvings are beautiful!
    and your daughter’s comment made me smile 🙂


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