Last Christmas one of the highlights of our holiday season was visiting a drive thru live nativity. Our children liked it so much that we went through twice.
In one night.
It left such an impression that this year we included 'go see a live nativity' in our advent activity calendar. On the night of the 22nd, we bundled up and went to one right here in our own neighborhood. While they had been chatty on the ride over, a reverent silence fell over our kids when as they took in the manger scene. So much so that we stayed not once, not just twice, but four times to hear the story of the good news that came to the weary world that first Christmas night.
Each time was special, but my favorite was the third.
Take a closer look. Any of that crowd look familiar?
One special touch of our neighborhood nativity is that the 'cast' rotates with each presentation. While Kylie chose to stay back with Ian and I to watch, Caleb, Darcy and Daniel decided to take part in the pageant.
The wee one spent much of his time petting the sheep around him, both the fake ones to his left and his friend Lottie to his right, but thankfully he was still enough not to become the 'star' of the show.
DQ's face was stuck in a perma-smile. She was positively beaming over being an angel, even if there were no wings or halo for her to wear and asked us several times if we noticed how much she grinned while she stood before baby Jesus.
And Caleb? The highlight of my night was about 2/3 of the way into the 10 minute pageant. He sat still throughout the entire narration and songs, but as he listened to a song about Joseph gazing upon the Holy Child, it was as though he was hearing the nativity story for the very first time. He looked at that baby doll in such a worshipful, respectful, but humble and loving way that it left an impression on me. We don't have a picture, but believe me, that moment will be forever stored in my heart as yet another piece of my oldest son beginning to figure out the greatest gift ever given.
May you allow yourself to experience that same gift, for the very first time or for the 100th time again this year...
[But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.] ~ Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)