Passing the Christmas section on my way out of a store Friday, I stopped for a second to look at the Willow Tree display. I have always liked this collection, and I have the Nativity Scene from several years ago that consisted of Mary and Joseph, the Baby, a shepherd, sheep, and donkey (as above). On one table, they were showing the newest additions to the scene. (Myself was saying to Me that I did not need to buy these because it would just be something else to move. And, I am happy to report that I listened to Me, and took My advice.)

But, while I was standing there, an older lady stopped beside me and said, “It’s a shame, I tell you…a crying shame.” I was trying to decide whether to engage her in conversation or not, when she saved me the trouble. “There’s not a baby in sight…and no Mama and Daddy either. It’s just not right”, she said. I looked at her and was trying to figure out what part of this dialogue I had missed, when she spoke again, “It’s been like that everywhere I go this year…everybody is leaving them out. You can’t have just the Men, that’s not what the story is…the story is the Mama and the Baby.” Then she looked at me and said, “Do you see the Baby?”

The lady was pointing at the Wise Men display…and suddenly, I got it! She was talking about Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus not being with the Wise Men. I suppose that they only display the newer sets. They really wanted to get rid of them obviously, because they had 3 sets of them set up on this table. And, she was right…not a Mama, Daddy, or Baby in sight.

She wandered on off, mumbling to herself, “It just ain’t Christmas without the Baby.”

And, while I understood what the store had done, I thought her words were so prophetic. It isn’t Christmas without the Baby. The decorations,the ornaments and trees, the shopping lists and presents, the food and the parties and whatever else has become attached to this Holy-day, isn’t Christmas. Christmas is the BABY.
Yes, I do know that in the REAL story, the Wise Men did not come to visit while Jesus was an infant. They arrived when He was around 2 years old. But, the makers of Nativity Scenes the world over have contributed to our belief that they visited while He was still a little baby. I don’t think that Willow Tree got it right, either…because their intent is for all the characters to be displayed together(as below). It is still a beautiful set, and I plan to complete it…later. Usually when I display my other sets, I move the Wise Men a short distance away from the Baby. It’s just one of those things that I like to get right. Matters not to most, but to me, it’s important. I have several scenes that I like to put up at Christmas…each a little different in style and design…but they all have the Baby!