Since this blog is private, I realized it was senseless to join the annual Christmas Bloggy Tour of Homes, since it would only serve to frustrate non-members who would attempt to visit me and find they couldn't. So I decided to show you my nativity collection, as well as the other two previously mentioned.
This is the first set I ever had, and it was my only one for many years. As you may have deduced from our blogging friendships, I am not artistic in any sense of the word. Unless you count sewing, knitting, crocheting, counted cross stitching, crewel embroidering, etc. as art. But when it comes to a paint brush or any such device, I am hopeless. A friend helped me with this project - I went the easy way out - not individually painted pieces, and I can't remember what this process was called. I am certain one of you knows. Another friend's husband made the stable. I used to have it on my coffee table and it was never in danger, because my kids were old enough to understand, "Please don't play with the breakable pieces." When the grandkids began to be mobile, I realized I needed to put it up high --
and replaced it on the coffee table with this - - - they have really enjoyed this Fisher Price set. When the angel on top of the stable is pressed down, it plays "Away in a Manger." It seldoms looks like this, though, because they really play with it.
I found this one two years ago - it is designed to look like play dough, but is a rubbery type of material. Or the pieces could be hung on the tree.
This is a very simple set, with no movable parts. Its fascination for children is a button you can push to tell the entire Christmas story in a nutshell - including the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah, which I heard Feisty singing today.
The next two I picked up along the way and I took them to display in my office before my "retirement." I wrote about that last year - how we couldn't decorate the outer office any more, but nobody could prevent me from making my own space express the "reason for the season."
I love this one, not only because of its intrinsic beauty, but for two other reasons. My grandma had a simple one with angels which she set on a space heater. It tinkled and dinged every time the heat kicked in. It didn't need the candles to make it work. The second reason is that this was a gift from Kevin at a time in his life when it was a very touching surprise. He had heard me mention how much I liked it when we ate at the Cracker Barrel one day. I am having a hard time finding the correct sized candles the last two years.
I made this crewel embroidery picture many years ago, and I still love it. The unique frame was something I found at a garage sale, if my memory serves me correctly.
This one on the left was a gift from my sister-in-law a year or two ago and I just love it - it is different from anything I've ever seen. The JOY figures came from Miles Kimball last year.
I found this one at Hobby Lobby during the after Christmas sales. It is unique - I wish I could describe it adequately.
I fell in love with the Willow Tree figures last year when I saw them at Barb's house. I found a really good price for the starter set and ordered them. I hope I can get some additional pieces as the years go by.
I found this tiny little set last year and promptly lost control of it this year when Feisty discovered it, as well as the next one (see the last post if you want a better explanation of that story!) These figures are 1-2 inches and even smaller. The second set is called the thimble set. These pieces are probably 3 inches. It also came from Miles Kimball. They have the cutest things.
I'm also fond of counting down the days with the kids, so have advent calendars in various modes. This one is on the refrigerator (yes, still the old one without any other magnets on it any more). We haven't kept up with it very well, so I am using it as a decoration instead.
It's fun to light the candle each day and let it burn down until the date disappears. Unfortunately, a week ago I lit it, went upstairs, and came down to find a whole week had disappeared. We've just now caught up with the candle again.
The angels and snowmen adorn opposite ends of the shelves at the end of the family room. They make me smile. I wish I remembered where I got them all.
Last of all, and in no particular category - my new centerpiece that I found at Hobby Lobby at a BEFORE Christmas half-price sale.
Every year when we practice our cantata, at least one song sticks in my head all week long between rehearsals. This year it is this one:
Lord, Hear our Cry;
Come, heal our land.