My favorite part of Christmas began when our babies arrived. The holiday with the sparkling lights, tinkling bells and nonstop music moved into another realm when little faces joined the celebration.
Dads love to give gifts. “For God so loved the world that He gave”…we all know those precious words. The costliest gift ever given was just what I needed, and my Father knew that. I can learn from Him. Picking the right gift is a challenge. Sometimes I just know. Like this year. I have matching gifts waiting for my daughters, chosen with a bucket full of love and thought. I can’t wait to see their faces.
The girls are establishing Christmas traditions in their homes, and I’m thankful those celebrations include the real meaning of Christmas as recorded in Scripture. Shepherds, angels, a newlywed couple on an uncomfortable journey—but most importantly, a special Baby lying in a manger.
Michelle’s Christmas decoration collection needed a nativity set. I knew she was looking, but the sets she liked were priced out of the range of a first-time homeowner (and a frugal Dad). I began my own search. When various threads through many sites led to the same set, I ordered it. The figurines were great, but the stable was cheesy. No problem, I have a shop.
A stump from a crepe myrtle tree saved for some future project caught my eye and I began to examine it. An idea was born. If I could carefully split the stump and carve out some of the splintered wood the remainder could become a custom stable for Michelle’s nativity set.
An idea is like gas—once it leaks out there is no recovering it. The mental view of that stable drove me to the shop where I launched into an intense cutting and shaping session. Shawn stopped by and the idea enveloped her, too. She added suggestions and sprinkled her creativity into the mix. Soon we had the bones of a nativity stable. Here are the construction details or click on the diagram at the top of the post.
Michelle’s face as she opened her gift on Christmas Day confirmed I nailed it.
She had to wait a year to use the nativity. The blue crate is a standard heavy duty storage box, and I sized the stable to fit. The breakable figurines reside at the bottom of the box inside a protective grid constructed from 1”x2” furring strips. This should last for years.
For Christmas 2014 Michelle placed her nativity set into play.
Her smile reminds me why I like Christmas.
Being Dad is a role I treasure. Sharing gifts with my ladies is a practice that will never grow tiresome.
Shawn and I wish you a Merry Christmas!