1-8-23, Day 7 In PTL Perrin’s Life
Welcome to day seven of A Day In My Life! Happy Sunday! We had a blessed time in church this morning!
Christmas in Germany was filled with music, the scents of pine and gingerbread, and the voices of many visitors, often gathered for meals or parties. German carols still fill me with joyful nostalgia; children’s choirs with their sweet, high voices, church bells ringing with abandon, mom singing along with her beautiful voice, the tunes interspersed with stern warnings to “stop that, or else!” as we tumbled and shouted through her living room or kitchen. We stayed clear of her rolling pin when she baked cookies, and couldn’t wait to help ice them with sugar frosting.
Until we moved here last year, German Christmas music brought me back to those times. I have several cds I played over and over. The cd player breathed its last just before I packed it to come here, and then I forgot to get another one. So, what I want for Christmas this year is a good cd player.
I never intended to collect Nativity scenes. It started with one, a cheap plastic set of characters, camels, and a donkey in a stable that we picked up sometime after my ex and I moved to New Jersey from Germany back in 1974. When I became a Christian, I wanted our celebration to focus on baby Jesus rather than Santa Claus, so I found another one on sale and bought it. After Bill and I married in 1994, his mother gave us the beautiful set pictured above.
When my mom went into a nursing home, she gave me the Nativity pictured here. She’d brought it over from Spain, where she had lived for more than 30 years.
Every time I saw a Nativity at a thrift shop or garage sale, I bought it. Eventually, it dawned on me that I had a collection. I was a collector of manger scenes.
Our friends and family noticed, and before long, they were sending them as gifts.
One of our daughters gave us Alleluia blocks with the Nativity characters on top. My aunt gave us the figures of Mary, Joseph and the baby with carved candles behind them when she went to her nursing home. A friend in Israel sent us a small carved manger scene. We received a Thomas Kincaid tree complete with manger scene from Bill’s mom. A son and his wife sent one encircled by wood with a star on top. So many wonderful memories are associated with each one.
Even our tree holds many Nativity ornaments. This year, I received a lovely star with a manger scene from my Secret Santa, a member of the RRBC book club I belong to. What a joyful surprise that was! It felt right at home.
These Christmas decorations will soon be carefully packed away for next year.
Although the visible reminders of that long ago Christmas morning will be hiding, the reality of the gift we received that day can’t be packed away. The baby who came to live among us, who grew up as one of us, who gave his life for us, was both the gift and the giver that day. His love, his light, is forever.
Patty Perrin (writing as P.T.L. Perrin)