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The weekend got away from me. There was so much to do and so little time, it seemed. And in the midst of it all, I never did find a quiet moment during which I could put out my nativity set. That quiet moment finally arrived tonite.

After all the hustle and bustle of the day was over, after I’d had my nightly phone call with my Mom, after the puppy had finally been fed, there was time. No plans, no emails that had to be sent, no chores that had to be done. Just time.

So I loaded my “Everything Christmas” playlist onto my iPhone and set it into its speakers. And as some of my favorite Christmas music began to play, began to unpack my set from its boxes. This is a favorite ritual of mine.

I first saw my nativity set in a store window in the Pickering Town Centre mall, when my parents and I lived in that city. It stopped me dead in my tracks and my Father (with whom I was running errands) had to come back to get me. And we spent a few minutes together, still in the midst of the bustling mall, marveling at how these figures told the story with beauty and simplicity. And how we could still be struck silent by the story these figures told.

A few Christmases later, my Mom and Dad bought me the first pieces in my set. For a couple of Christmases they added to it, until the whole set was mine. Every time I take it out of its boxes I am reminded of the reason for this season. And I am reminded of the faithfulness of my parents, who taught me the story of God’s saving love coming to earth in the form of a helpless baby.

This is the beginning of my Advent season. This is the beginning of all the preparations, all the decorating, all the little steps that will lead to the celebration of Christmas 2012. For me, in this quiet, worship-ful moment, it has begun very well.

The whole set (and stockings for me, Koski and Spot).

The centre piece.

The Wise Men.

A shepherd and some animals.

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