On this snowy, wintry Sunday morning in the Ozarks, we are putting away Christmas decorations and going to the mundane, every other day decorations. As I pick up and put away each piece, I am reminded how it came to be in my home.
The stable for my Nativity set had been found at a garage sale with another nativity set in it. I didn't like that set as well as one that had been given to me, for Christmas, by our newly married son and wife. So, they were traded out. I gave the unwanted Nativity to someone else. The nativity fit handily into the stable. Now, they are one.
There is a star of gold thread pinned on the wall above it. It came from a now forgotten purchase and was not used for a couple of years, because I couldn't find a place for it. Then I put my nativity on the mantle and discovered that the nativity needed a star. How could the wise men find it if there were no star? And my eye fell on the star. It has now been on the wall in that spot for two years. Even when it isn't Christmas. We always need a star.
This year our daughter and her family gave me a large Jingle Bell, decorated and says "Welcome". When I commented that she had given me one last year, the reply was, " Of course". I had not thought of it before, but, as I took the ornaments off the tree, there were two from her that were Mickey and Minney Mouse with jingle bells for bodies. As I counted my ornaments, well, handled them anyway, I saw how many were jingle bells and most of them from her. So, she has always tried to make it a Jingle Bell Christmas for us.
I have five ornaments from young friends of ours who, she and the kids, make an ornament a year for us. Some of them are intricate, some are simple, but all are special. Among these ornaments is a jingle bell.
Jingle bells are special. They remind me of "Dashing through the snow", even if I never have, and of all the bells that ring on Christmas day to remind us of the birth of Christ. Jingle bells are soft and gentle in sound and remind us that Christ is gentle in his coming to us.
When you see a jingle bell, whether it be a little one on the shoes of a child, or a big one that says,
"Welcome", remember it is a gentle reminder that Christ came softly into the world.
Have a blessed day.