Once I heard of someone who said they didn't put baby Jesus in their nativity until Christmas. They said that it helped them to be mindful of the meaning of advent, the waiting for baby Jesus to arrive. I have thought a lot about that over the years since I first heard it. I think it's a creative way to illustrate the waiting for our Savior's birth, but I could never do it. It isn't that I can't wait until Christmas or can't stand the anticipation. I couldn't do it because I want to look at the baby Jesus as long as I can. I want to see that baby and remember him, that He is the reason for this season, that He came to save me from my sin. I have nativities in many rooms of my house and I like it that way. I like being able to keep my focus on Jesus and to have that visual reminder that my Christmas trees are beautiful and the presents are plentiful, but that the real gift is found in this tiny babe that was born 2,000 years ago who came for me. When I look at these pictures I think they illustrate what I want my kids to grow up with ~ a hands-on approach in their relationship with Christ and the constant reminder that Jesus is Christmas. That tiny baby in the hay is love, and he loved us enough to be born human and then to sacrifice his life for our sins, dying on the cross for me, for them, for you.