Nativity2Several years ago I discovered Willow Tree figurines. The simplicity of them is so beautiful. Each of the figures, or sets of figures, depicts one of life’s special moments, whether it be a marriage, a pregnancy, children, angels, or other life events. They don’t have bold colors (in fact, they are mainly muted earth tones) and none of them have faces. I think that this makes you feel connected to the figures. By not having any distinguishing features you feel as if any of them could be you, or members of your family.

Willow Tree Nativity SetI admit, sometimes I can be a difficult person to Christmas shop for. When I already have everything I need, what more could I want? Several years ago I decided I was going to ask for something meaningful, something with a purpose. I considered many things, and finally decided that since I was out on my own I wanted a nativity set of my own. I looked at all sorts of different nativity sets, but one stood out to me — the Willow Tree nativity. This set stood out from all of the others in one big way. Instead of Mary just laying him in the manger, she is actually holding the Baby Jesus.

This spoke volumes to me.

Mary and Baby JesusI know that after I had each of my sons I just wanted to hold, cuddle, and admire them for hours after they were born. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I feel that this is how Mary would have felt after having Jesus, her firstborn and the much-anticipated Savior of the World. She would have never wanted to put Him down.

Of course she eventually did put Him down to sleep, and probably for her to get some rest too, which is why when the shepherds arrived they found the Baby lying in the manger. The fact that the Willow Tree set depicts that tender moment between a mother and a newborn son was so powerful to me that I knew that this was the set I had to have. It gives the Christmas Story a much more human element as opposed to be feeling like a story that is told each year.

Even though Jesus came to save the world, it doesn’t negate the fact that He was still Mary’s son. A son she carried, gave birth to, nursed, and nurtured. As a mother, I feel connected to Mary when I look at that figurine. 

Nativity4This nativity set has become one of my most precious Christmas decorations. It is one of those gifts that I am so glad that I asked for. The following year, I added the three wise men to the original set, and my aunt gave me a stable that she made to go with it. A beautiful set of figurines and a heartfelt, handmade stable made for the perfect Christmas gift.

Do you love this set as much as I do? You can purchase the 6-piece Willow Tree nativity set as well as other pieces to the Christmas Story from Family Christian Bookstores. There are actually two sets that have the Holy Family, however both sets still depict that tender scene between Mary and Jesus that I love. 


Trying to find the perfect gift for your loved ones this holiday season? If so, check out Third Stop on the Right’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide


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