Thursday, December 1, 2011

Solving the Nativity Problem

Just a quick update as I take a break from Christmas preparations.

I'm feeling pretty good. It's only December 1st, and I have nearly every gift purchased.
 That's a  first for me.
I'm also busy decorating.  

Because the birth of Jesus is the reason that this family celebrates the season to begin with, our nativity is the first thing that goes up around here. It takes center stage on the old pine table in the foyer.  

If you read my post on Sunday, though, you know that I had a little accident with my baby Jesus last year. To say that my efforts to replace Him were unsuccessful is a bit of an understatement.

Well, apparently, confession is not only good for the soul; 
it can bless the pocketbook, too. 

Here's what happened...

Sunday after church, the Duchess asked me if I had found a replacement for my blonde Dollar Tree Jesus.

 I haven't.

I told her that what I really wanted was a whole new nativity scene, something simpler than the one I had been using.... something white and gold, I said.  I'm all about the white and gold these days. Unfortunately, this family is feeling the recession in a big way. It's a stick-to-the-budget Christmas.

She told me to take a little drive after lunch and look in the window of the local thrift store.

I did, and guess what I saw for eight dollars?


Not bad.

Oh sure, it's not a beautiful porcelain set like the Lenox one of my sister's that I shalt not covet. And's  clearly an import.  It's an American owned thrift store so I hope I get a pass on that.

And yes, if you're counting, it only has two kings. That doesn't bother me either. I may not have mentioned it, but I'm one of those annoying literalists. You know the kind... the kind who gripes when a movie   doesn't follow the book.  That whole three kings thing? It doesn't follow The Book. In no place in scripture does God mention three kings.  All we know is that they were wise men and that there was more than one.

Two is more than one. 

And  they were from the east... these two kings of Orient are.

Sorry. I couldn't resist....

Actually, they weren't even in the manger on the auspicious night anyway, but it's still nice to have them in the scene.

So that's the set I'll be putting on my pine table this year while I continue to look for a baby Jesus.  Yes, I'm still looking for a matching one, and yes, I  still have my heart set on a wonderful nativity one of these days, but for now, I am sincerely grateful. It's only December 1st., and when you walk into my foyer, you get to see the star of the show.

By the way, I'm sorry these pictures are lousy. 
I'm too busy to fight both the sun and the shiny red Kodak. 


Gaby said...

Totally unrelated but my last two favorite posts of yours have been on Sundays so you had the comments turned off. We too went to the Lost Sea in TN and loved it! And your post about Joy last weekend was priceless. I read it to my husband while we rang the Salvation Army bell in miserably cold weather. My favorite set that stays out all year is my Willow Tree nativity but I only keep out the holy family.

Barbara F. said...

Perfect! I wish I could just put up my Nativity and forego everything else. But I need stuff to blog about :) xo

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

That is just awesome...I just had to chuckle over the three wise Dad has reminded us of that every year...also that they weren't at the Nativity. I also remind my kids each year, making sure they know the truth and what the Word says. Just like there wasn't only two of each kind in the kids just laugh at me and we go on.

I love what you found...and yes, the economy is hitting us all...but when you know the real meaning of the season you focus on it more.

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Debbie,

Congratulations! Eight dollars is indeed not a bad price. I think it's a very pretty set, but then I'm not being very objective. It looks so much like the Nativity that I put on the table in our foyer.

Thanks for sharing and have a great day.


Red Couch Recipes said...

Love it -- it's from the east! Love your new nativity set! I cherish mine -- it was a Russian dinner or it (when we were first newlyweds). Glad you found it. Now I am feeling badly. I hardly have ANY shopping done! I do think that if you get all the decorating and shopping done early (not that it has ever happened to me), you would be able to enjoy the real reason for the season more.

Christine said...

If you love it, then it's perfect.
By the way, I love it!

Chatty Crone said...

Debbie your new set is wonderful. And you sure do have the right reason for the season sitting right there for everyone to see - and the family too.

How very sweet.


Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Very, very lovely, Debbie!

Debbie said...

I think it is perfect. And I love the way you have it displayed there on the table by the Bible as the first thing that greets all that enter. I need to get cracking over here as I haven't even drug my boxes in yet! HUGS

Denise said...

So happy you found a set where the hair color wasn't blond. That just would not do at all. I love the white set. It looks beautiful on your entry table. Just think. This set already matches your dining room, so you won't have to spray paint it.

Mevely317 said...

I SO loved this post! Your entry looks so welcoming!
Had to smile at your reference to the THREE kings ... on account, I'm a literalist, too. (Drives my hubby nuts, so I can't quit now - LOL.)

FrouFrouBritches said...

I loved the remark about the "Orient" HA! You crack me up! So pretty! I hate to admit that I don't have a nativity set. I've been to broke to buy one. Something happened to ours when we moved....8 years ago. I've yet to find a replacement. The one I wanted was EXPENSIVE at Dillard's, I think. The kids wanted the Veggie Tales Nativity. I guess I should've given in to them. It's better than no nativity at all. Congrats on your thrify find!

Knitty said...

I bet the third King stopped for latte, his traveling partners went on without him and being a man, he never asked for directions. Obviously he didn't know about Onstar...oops, I meant THE star. ;-)

Regarding my blog entry on Seniors and being 50-something: In my late 40s I was planning to throw a 50th party for myself with a theme about my youth being dead. My sense of humor isn't for everyone, but I knew my relatives and close friends would understand my sarcasm and know that I wasn't being morbid.

At 49, one of my best friends was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Fortunately a hysterectomy took care of it. It was encapsulated and caught early. She has had clear check ups for 10 years now. I nixed the idea of the party and realized that turning another year older is a blessing that not everyone receives.

Let's go find that blogger and have him photograph us! :D

Babs said...

I loved your comment about the wise men being form the east/Orient... giggle. made my day.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

It's like you're telling me there is not a Santa Clause.....Of course there is 3 wise men...the Nuns told me so! Your new set is darling, my set is a family set out of chalk wear...I am not so sure if it will last another generation.

Ps: I can't believe your hubby has to get your paint from another town...wait a minute don't you have a whole case of it???

Debbie said...

Carol, that's oil rubbed bronze. Hmmm... maybe I should complain to Mr. Rustoleum Man about heirloom white next...

Crickit said...

Your entry way looks very inviting and warm with your new nativity scene. Good luck with your hunt for the perfect baby Jesus for your other set. :)

Lynn Richards said...

Well if there are only 2 wisemen, who carried all three gifts? I'm so confused. I thought the blond baby Jesus was pretty cool-you could have painted his hair. Well, who am I to talk? My nativity is rustic and the baby Jesus doesn't even HAVE a face. Maybe I'll go to my thrift store and find a pretty set like you did!

Sue said...

Hi Debbie ~ I am so glad you solved your baby Jesus problem with your new set. I love the simplicity of your white and gold find. I have one nativity with all of the "pieces" and then another tiny one that only has 2 Wise Men. I was always sad that they discontinued it before I could afford that last guy!! But you have made me feel that it IS complete. Thanks!! In my old house I always had room to keep my bible open too ~ love that. I see you have yours open to Isaiah, I always had Luke 2. {both great choices}
Have fun on your continued decorating, and thanks for pinning my party!!

Angel said...

Wow! What a deal! Congrats on your new nativity. I think it looks great.

Ann said...

I love your new Nativity, but like Carol, the nuns told me as well that there were three wise men and she even gave them names, which elude me at the moment. Oh well. LOL!
I also like your old set ... reminds me of the one I grew up with. Which I suppose the "she devil" has now. ; \
At one point, I had 4 or 5 Nativity sets. One I painted, got the pieces from the craft store out of plaster of Paris. It actually just had two angels and the Baby Jesus. It was all we could afford when we were first married. I still have it. A second one was an ebony set my eldest brother sent me from Africa. All the figures were "boney" looking and nude. While I appreciated the artistic quality of the set, I did not keep it. I did however, use it for a few years.
Then, we got a Lladro set. The tall thin, Joseph, kneeling Mary, Christ child, a donkey and a cow. I still have it, but one year not too long ago, I knocked Joseph over and he's now headless. I eventually hope to get him repaired. Know any good porcelain repairers?
While in Central Asia I picked up some small "native" figurines. When I got them home and set them all out, I realized I had a Nativity set! I'll have to post a pic of it sometime.
The set that is the most complete is one my eldest brother bequeathed to me. It is the Goebel (aka: Hummel) set. I think there are about a dozen pieces to it and I absolutely LOVE it. Christmas to me is about the children .... yes, it is about the birth of Our Savior .... the on this earth, today, it is the wonderment in the face of children that I absolutely love. This nativity set has the childish faces of the Hummel figurines that we all know so well. So, to me it celebrates not only the Holy birth, but the naivety of children.

Goodness! I did not mean to go on and on! But wanted to let you know how special each and every Nativity set is .... and they each will establish their own memories!


Kelley said...

Yeah, I love that Good Book. There's truth in there. We put people at Jesus' birth who were not. Well, 'we' don't, but...

Love your Christmas deco! Have a great weekend!

Sharon said...

I have been waiting for a baby Jesus update since Sunday. First of all, I felt your pain at dropping him last year. Oh, that just made me hurt. I've done that with some precious *things* - and it just makes you feel sick at heart.

The new (temporary?) blonde Jesus is a nice match - except for the Nordic genes. Maybe the *find* for this year will appear just in time for the 25th.

In the meantime, I love this thrift store nativity. There are few things I enjoy more than finding a real bargain, and then transforming into something special by the "setting" I place it in when I get home. My house is full of things that the husband thought looked kinda "cheap." But, when placed in our home, in "just that right way" - lo and behold, he says, "Wow. That really looks cool." (My translation)

So, snaps for the new set - (you did not say Orient are, did you?!?)

Nezzy said...

Obviously this was just meant to be!!! What a wonderful find and I cracked up with your 'we two kings of Orient are..." line.

So true, the bible mentions kings and three gifts.

God bless ya and have a magnificent weekend sweetie!!! :o)

Jo's This and That said...

Love your setting.It is what it is all about.Thanks for sharing and visiting Joann

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Debbie, I happen to love your gold and white nativity set! You may remember last Christmas when I said if I had to downsize and make choices, I would choose to keep my gold and white/ivory decorations and get rid of the rest. I'm so glad you found this. "Good eye!" to the Duchess!

I always put the kings out, too, but I usually have them on a shelf above, or off to the side, rather than present at the manger. (Not, however, always EAST of the manger; I'm not that legalistic!) Just doesn't seem right to perpetuate the myth...

Can't wait to set up our nativity next week when I'll FINALLY get started decorating. But first, I need tonight to recover from our whirlwind trip taking Little Man home to NC ... and pack for a working weekend trip to TX. So glad somebody's ahead of schedule since I'm certainly not! Pat yourself on the back -- and take time to rest in The Peace!

Miss Char said...

I'm sure your baby Jesus is just around the corner waiting for you and in the mean time I'm so jealous that on the first of December you've got a good start on the holiday decorating. My hats off to you.

Sue said...

So glad you found one, Debbie and good luck in finding a baby Jesus to match your other nativity.

elizabeth said...

Love your J-O-Y decoration, so glad no one stole it!
My Hubs dropped my nativity scene a couple years ago while getting it out for me. Several pieces were broken. Some we found replacements for on ebay, but a couple are glued together. Poor Mary is missing a big chunk of her backside!

Rettabug said...

I just read the story about your search for baby Jesus & I have tears in my eyes...from laughing so hard!!!! Woman, you TRULY have a gift...please, PLEASE publish some of your postings? You could then afford the more expensive of manger scenes.
BTW, my DD was given the Lenox one as a wedding gift for their Dec. 23rd marriage. Someone STOLE it in their move to Hilton Head!!!!!!!! Grrrr! I hope Karma & the Good Lord pay them back royally for their offense.

AND would you believe, just yesterday, yes, YESTERDAY, I saw a white & gold nativity set very similar to your new one. Wish I had known you needed it sooner.

Thank you for the delightful start to my day. I'm still chuckling.

Hugs & back to decorating,

Rettabug said...

P.S. I just became a follower...don't know how I neglected to do that before. *blush*

Blogger now makes it easy to provide email notification of any new postings. I sure would LOVE to get yours in my inbox. How about making it a gadget link on your blog? It is under "Design" then go to "Add a Gadget". It should be the top one.
Thanks in advance, if you decide to do it!!!

The Decorative Dreamer said...

You are so funny! I love your humor about how your kings of orient are. That is a very pretty set. I love hearing you speak about the literal aspect of that night. I have also thought about how the wise men were not actually there at the manger that night yet we always include them in the manger scenes. But I've not ever really thought so much about how many there were. Hmmm??? Great food for thought to meditate upon and especially at this time of year.


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