Sunday, December 03, 2006

Away in a manger

As you may know, we recently uncovered a fireplace opening in our new home. The Christmas perfectionist in me wanted it stocking-ready by December, but my husband has been too busy to build the mantel. I've been trying not to pout about that gaping hole. How often I've bitten my tongue to keep from nagging! We had hoped to buy an electric fireplace insert as our gift to each other, but we're using that money for a replacement computer instead.

I unpacked our Christmas decorations this week. The creche, like its figural inhabitants, had trouble finding a place to rest. Should I go buy something bigger, a set with more presence? Suddenly I remembered--my favorite Tasha Tudor had a creche in her kitchen fireplace! My mom and I quickly settled the wooden manger in my fireplace opening. We elevated it on an orange crate and disguised its base with Georgia pinecones. A small nightlight fit just behind. We added tree trimmings from Lowe's (the man told us to fill up our car, go home, and come back for another load!). From my husband's family farm I gathered Spanish moss, like silvery hay in the manger.

It's so funny the way things work when you have more patience than money! Looking down at the Holy Family is as peaceful as watching a fire burn; anticipation of His birth, even warmer. I love these lessons of Christmas. God takes something rough and unfinished--a space, a family, a soul--and reclaims it by the gift of his only begotten son. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. --John 9:5


Anonymous said...


Katie said...

That does look pretty.

My 6yodd was sitting with me when I scrolled down to the picture, and I said, "Wow!"

She said, "Is Santa Claus gonna step on that?"

Kether said...

And Very Tasha-esque.

Stephanie said...

That's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

beautiful as always, Meredith : )

I was just listening to a computer talk show recently. The host/expert said that computer packages were very good deals right now. Microsoft will be unveiling "Vista" in January, to replace the current Micro XP. So computers purchased right now will be essentially obsolete by January 07, therefore manufacturers offering great deals. (However, be sure to look for one with a coupon offer for Vista upgrade at the time of purchase, that is a good deal he said).

AND, those purchased in 2006 new computers will not really be obsolete. "Vista" is not that much different than XP, and very few people will feel the need to upgrade. This just happens to be Microsoft's M.O. to keep the cash registers ringing.

I'm no computer expert but thought that sounded like sage advice!


Monica Wilkinson said...

This is a beautiful idea! It seems like a perfect home for your nativity this year! And, you know my love of free greens from Lowe's! My post today shows what I did with some of mine!

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

It looks great! But if I had mine down that low Buddy and Princess would be playing with it. I remember how as a child I always wanted desperately to play witho ours. Especially the wooden camel. That's why we bought the fisher price navity when Princess was an infant. It even still has most of the pieces :)

Someone Beautiful said...

Oh Meredith, this natural look is beautiful! Thank you for the great wreath idea and illustrations! I can't wait until we get our tree this week so I can make some things with the trimmings.

I'm glad you are getting a new computer. It must be a great releif that you have the funds already set aside for such a Christmas gift. I miss mine when I don't have it too. ;)

TheNormalMiddle said...

I absolutely LOVE this idea Meredith! May I post it over on the advent for evangelicals blog????

Meredith said...

Lindsey, I'd be delighted.

Honey, a replacement computer puts quite a big dent in my budget, above and beyond our Christmas gift to each other! Thus all the economizing you'll see here in the next few weeks.

Fortunately computers are a lot cheaper in general than when we bought our last one several years ago : )

Someone Beautiful said...

Oh I am sorry, I didn't mean to say that it was easy for you to replace the computer. I am impressed that you can do it and find even more ways to save. You inspire me to try even harder.