Everyone is different. It takes all sorts, that’s for sure! Sometimes people change, too.
When I was little, I had a little glowy, ceramic Christmas Village of my own that I would set up for Christmas. I had a bakery, a house, little lamp posts that lit up, and a small horse figurine pulling a couple in a sleigh, among other pieces. I would set it all up on pillowy white, sparkly quilt batting that would double as snow. Not sure what happened to all of that? (Maybe I got rid of it as I subconsciously detest snow?)
Fast forward to now, and I’ve switched gears entirely to Bethlehem and the Nativity. I can’t remember how it started. It probably had to do with shopping for Christmas decor, but after I got married I invested in a stable and Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus figurines. It just made more sense to me now; I mean, Christmas started with Baby Jesus, camels, and the Magi, in the desert.
I think the Husband and Son gifted other pieces to me as Christmas presents over the years. I have quite a flock of sheep now, in real life AND on top of my retired church piano! Anyways, I love this set. It’s called Fontanini and they make any piece you can think up.
Between the Nativity and the Christmas tree, that’s the heart of my Christmas decor. I also have a small fetish for nutcrackers. (I even finally got the Magi in nutcrackers this year!) Funny, I don’t think I have even one Santa Claus/Old Saint Nicholas/Father Christmas/Kris Kringle amongst my decor.
Other people have displays of an old red truck with a fresh cut Christmas tree in the bed, a lamp made out of a lady’s leg, stuffed elves and gnomes, or polar bears and reindeer statues. (I do have a few sparkley reindeer on one of my tables.) Lots of people have large blow up characters gracing their front lawns, Christmas lights everywhere, candy covered gingerbread houses, and an Elf on the Shelf they have to move once a day without their children seeing.
I love to look at the Baby Jesus in the light from the stable in the dark with the Christmas tree lights glowing over my shoulder. I keep imagining the cold night air Mary sat shivering in, atop her donkey, gritting her teeth while waiting for Joseph to find a place for them to rest and give birth. What a wild adventure and way for them to start their life together, giving birth to Jesus in a stable. Mary and Joseph must have just been floored when the Magi showed up. I mean, it had to be a shock when the Magi showed up! The awe of realizing, oh this is really real, I just gave birth to not just A king, but THE King of kings!
Since the Magi had to know, had to find out, they followed a Star, perhaps some sort of cosmic anomaly, deep in space, lining up in a constellation or conjunction of planets, pointing the way to where Jesus lay. They brought gifts as travelers do when they visit new kingdoms and kings. Pure fate, that. I’d never be the same after that, having seen prophecy fulfilled in such an amazing and tangible way.
Every Christmas we try to mimic that story with our own gift exchange and family traditions on Christmas day.