The signs of Christ’s coming begin with unwrapping Nativity scenes from around the world and placing them in the house at eye-level for the children. They are meant to be seen, touched, picked up and rearranged to suit each child’s idea of Christ’s coming. Once baby Jesus disappeared for a few days, going home in a pocket, reappearing several days later.

The Nativity sets come from Israel, Italy, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico. None is perfect; all are precious. The olive wood music box plays music that cannot be confused with a Christmas carol.

The oldest in the collection is a small Waterford crystal set with Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. The original set included an angel who apparently flew back to Heaven several years ago.

Unwrapping, arranging, reminiscing about where the Nativity scenes came from are all part of sharing the signs of Christ’s coming with the children of the family. One year Cadie and I were setting up our collection when she came across a set that did not survive the ride home in my luggage. Every piece was broken but, instead of throwing them away, she painstaking glued the dozens of pieces back together.

Christ’s coming assures us that no matter how damaged and broken we are, we can be made whole again.

Pat Tatham

About the Contributor

Pat Tatham serves as an Elder and Chairs the Ministry of Mission. She and John have two children, John and Pam, and four grandchildren, Caroline, Cadie, Tommy, and Jay.