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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Cards (11/06/08)

TITLE: The Family Nativity Album
By Peg Broussard


One of the nicest things about the Christmas season is the cards I receive. Some of these can be from one of my children, the neighbor I wave hello to each day, or a friend I only hear from once a year. Around the first week in December I begin looking forward to checking the mail each day, knowing that the first of the Christmas cards will be there. I always get a warm feeling knowing that people are taking the time to remember me during this hectic but most blessed season.

As a young girl, I used to hang some of Moms Christmas cards on a silver-tinseled tree. Each day Id add another and then another until the branches were filled, then Id hang them over a string shed strung from the mantel. There were cards with snowmen painted on them, beautiful scenes of winter wonderlands, jolly reindeer, laughing Santas or rosy-cheeked children. The ones with baby Jesus, the wise men, Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, or any relating to the birth of Christ went in a very special place.

Mom had a special book she called the Family Nativity Album. There were cards in this album that Mom had placed there when I was a baby. I was always quite enchanted with the fact that I was doing something special at Christmas with my Mom that lasted long after the cookies wed bake had been eaten. Once the albums were filled, Mom would take them to retirement homes and hospitals for the enjoyment of others, but she always kept the first one shed crafted many years before.

Each card was so beautiful it was hard to decide which to pick first. Wed cut the picture from the card, and glue it onto the pages of the book. Then, using pinking shears, wed cut around part or all of the sentiment from inside the card and place it beneath the picture. Next, Mom would cover each picture with clear glue and I would sprinkle glitter all over them. The final touch was the hair spray shed use to keep the glitter from flaking off.

Every day I would examine the cards my mother had chosen all those many years ago, and then look at mine. It wasnt until I was grown that I came to see the similarities in the cards that were chosen from one generation to the next.

All were beautifully drawn renditions of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the clear starry night, the shepherds in the fields, the wise men following the star to bring gifts to Our Lord, the cattle sharing the small and meager stable where He was born. The messages inside the cards spoke of peace, faith, blessings from Heaven, love and hope.

There are many reasons to celebrate His birth aside from the beauty of the season, the twinkling lights or the gaily wrapped presents. Youve only to pick up a card depicting the poor beginning of our Savior to appreciate the impact that this tiny baby ultimately had on humanity.

Although He was born poverty-stricken, He had riches beyond compare. How fortunate we are that He shared with us His love, tolerance, patience, and hunger for peace and unity for all people. As a mother I can clearly understand the great sacrifice Our Father made in sending His Son to us, even with the knowledge that a greater sacrifice would be required of Jesus, the man.

Each year, as I unpack the Family Nativity Album and place it lovingly on my coffee table, I cant help but take a few moments to reminisce. I turn each page carefully, remembering the special times I shared with my mother and the profound joy I found in the simple task of cutting Christmas cards illustrating the birth of the baby Jesus.

Another year is now upon us, and like so many that have come before, I am looking forward to unpacking the dozens of boxes holding my precious decorations and most important, the Family Nativity Album. This year Ill have the pleasure of passing on this special tradition to my grandchildren, and I have the deep and fervent desire that I will be able to instill in them a passion for faith and a love of Our Lord. Hopefully, I will guide them as gently as Mom guided me.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin11/14/08
Touching memoir. Thanks for sharing. :)
Dee Yoder 11/17/08
Oh, what a lovely tradition! I can just imagine the joy such a project could bring, and then to be able to look back, and cherish each memory the cards bring to mind...well, that is a most wonderful gift!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge11/17/08
Very interesting tradition. Thanks for sharing this lovely idea.