The Christmas decorations came out in full force around our house a couple of weekends ago. While Daddy was out front working with the outside lights (aka, Clark Griswold) and Chooch was riding his bike, K-girl and I put on some Christmas music and decorated our living room. I love decorating for Christmas each year, and it's even more fun now that K-girl is out of the "Danger: Breakables Ahead!" phase. She had so much fun pulling out all of the knick-knacks and figuring out where to put each one.
The favorite decoration each year is our Nativity scene. I received it as a gift several years ago and the kids love it because each year that we put it out, I purposely don't put out Baby Jesus. It's an idea that I heard during my MOPS days...put out the Nativity scene and wait to bring out Baby Jesus until Christmas morning, the day of His birth. It really helps the kids (and me!) remember what the holiday season is all about. We also bake Jesus a birthday cake and sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus on Christmas Day. Fun!
So, I found the Nativity scene box first and managed to pull out Baby Jesus and hide Him before K-girl noticed (note to self...don't forget where you hid Baby Jesus!). As soon as she saw the box, though, she was all over it, wanting to do this one all by herself. I wasn't quite ready to let her do the whole thing on her own, so I pulled out the pieces from the foam packaging, gave them to her and let her arrange the figures on the end table. I kept trying to give her decorating advice, but my little expert wanted nothing to do with my tips. K-girl wanted to do it all on her own. After several attempts of "K-girl, wouldn't the figures look better if you turned them around?" and "Look, K-girl, I can't see the angel's face", I gave up my advice and let her do the arrangements all on her own.
A few days later, while the kids were at school, I took a close look at K-girl's arrangement:
My first instinct was to rearrange the figures so that they would be in a semi-circle with the manger in front...so you could see everyone's face and no one's back. But, right before I started rearranging, a thought struck me...Maybe this is how God wants US to be during the Advent season...Maybe we should all be facing the manger and waiting for Baby Jesus...Maybe we shouldn't be worried about how we look or the gifts we buy or the houses we decorate, but instead be focused on the coming of Christ and the gift of hope that He brings. WOW! What a powerful message to be thinking about here in the days before Christmas. And all thanks to my sweet K-girl's decorating ability!