Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Beginning Advent

It recently struck me how crazy it is to see the features and faces of your friends, especially friends you've known your whole life, in their children.  The child of someone I grew up with smiled at me the other day with a smile that looked EXACTLY like my friend, and for one split second I felt like I was five again and looking at my friend as a child.  It was a crazy, Twilight-zoneish moment that made me smile.

I sometimes get the same feeling when I watch my niece and daughter play together.  I feel time-warped back to watching myself play with my little sister.  It brings back sweet memories and it makes me smile to see childhood repeated in another generation.  

So I shouldn't have been surprised when showing my daughter my beloved little glass Nativity did the same thing.  I have no idea where that set came from, but it's been around my whole life.  It was one of those things that my mom sort of off-handedly pushed toward me one year and said, "Do you want this?" because it's not fancy or nice or pretty and is old enough to probably just be thrown away.  I snatched it up though, because for whatever reason, I adored that little glass Nativity for as long as I can remember.  I can see my little hands clutching baby Jesus and oh-so-gently setting him back down next to his mama on our glass coffee table.  Something about my mom unwrapping those little glass figures and arranging them on the table in the middle of our living room felt so sacred to me.  I just loved those translucent glass figures and the way the lights on the Christmas tree seemed to make them sparkle when the other lights were low.  They were special and beautiful.

I am trying to do an advent calendar of activities with Sweet Pea during the Christmas season, and for the first I wanted her to help me set up our little Nativity.  They may be old and kitschy and chipped and truly kind of ugly, but it doesn't matter.  In fact, I think it kind seems perfect and fitting.  

Sweet Pea must have known how special they were because she was enamored from the get-go.  It might just been that delicious tinkling sound the pieces made when she struck them together, but I'm going to believe she just knew in her little heart how special that moment was.   

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