Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Patrick and the Manger. An Accidental Christmas Tradition

The ladies over at I heart faces challenged their readers this week to blog about a holiday tradition.

I gave this a little thought and one thing I've been wanting to share rose to the top almost immediately.

When Rich and I were first engaged my parents had an engagement dinner for us and their gift to us was a Fontanini Nativity starter set and my uncle made us a stable to go with it.

Over the years we came to love it even more.

We loved that it was not breakable.

We loved that in time, you could continue to add on to it and potentially have an entire town of Bethlehem.

We loved that with each new piece came a card that told the story of the character.

No matter how crazy life gets our nativity set comes out first.

We added gifts from family members..... angels.

A well.

A bakery.

When the boys were very small they would frequently ask how many days til Christmas.  We had an Advent calendar with pocket for stickers for everyday but they didn't quite make the connection. 

I told them that they would know it was Christmas when Baby Jesus was in the manger and we would all sing Happy Birthday to Him.

And so it became a tradition that Baby Jesus didn't make his appearance until Christmas Morning.

About four years ago as we were setting up Bethlehem we noticed that Baby Jesus was missing.

I was sure he would show up.

But alas,  apparently we had hidden him a little too well.

The following year I had the best of intentions to hunt one down on ebay.

Since our set is almost vintage now it needed to be the right Baby Jesus and I had no idea how competitive ebay gets for said particular Baby Jesus.

Obviously we were not alone in our misplacement.

So once again we had no Baby Jesus.

It just wasn't right.

But on Christmas morning I saw Dylan lurking around the nativity and glancing in every now and then.

Finally I looked and saw this.

The kid cracks me up.

It's why he was sent to our family.

To lighten things up.

He was very happy about how well Patrick fit in the manger...but wasn't quite sure if he had pushed the boundaries of proprietry (hmm is that a word?)

It was something so Dylan that I just had to laugh.

The following year I was victorious in my rabid bidding on ebay and landed just the right Baby Jesus.

And all was right again in Bethlehem.

But now Patrick has become a resident piece of our nativity scene.

He gets packed away with all the rest of it and we laugh every time we pull him out.

This year this is his spot.

Dylan suggested that Patrick can be the North Starfish.

Merry Christmas to all!

Love ya

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oregon Coastal Fall... A Retrospective

Did you hear that?

That huge whooshing sound?

The sound of fall speeding past?

Blowing your hair across your face so that you can't even see winter coming?

Ya, that's what that was.

In fact these pictures are almost irrelevant.

They were taken at least a month ago.

But allow me to bask in the memories.

It's one more way I can avoid facing the truth about how I should be trying to get this holiday season under control.

Join me in my denial for a moment here.

Friends do that for each other.


Let's travel back to a warmer time...

A drier time...

A time when this whale was one of the locals, hanging out in the port surf zone for a month or so...

A time when the network of local surfers walk around with smiles on their faces...

And their cell phones close by wating for the call...

My hubby really looks forward to the surf this time of year...

A time when the first storms start to roll in and the entire coastal vista looks like it's just been converted to black and white...

A time when there are still leaves on the blueberry bushes and the colors are fab...

Ummm and apparently a time when the grass needs mowing...

Thanks for that brief diversion...

And anytime I can help you avoid reality I'd love to return the favor... just let me know.

I think it might be my calling.