The smell of pine in my house somehow reminds me of Christmas. Growing up with a "real" tree maybe? Recently I was asked what my favorite Christmas tradition was growing up. After hearing everyone else share about the ONE gift before Christmas, and EVERYONE saying it was pj's, I dug a little deeper. It has to be when we unwrapped the ceramic nativity that my Nanny made. Both her and Granpa Doc were ceramicist once they retired. The nativity was complete with a wooden barn-like covering and angel that hung just over a small light that would shine. You only plugged in the light once all the camels with their shiny jewelry, the wise men, Mary,Joseph and baby Jesus were arranged just so, THEN, you cut the light on. The hay and pine were the best part, it truly brought Christmas to life for me. Seeing and envisioning the night Christ was born. Remembering that it was a real event, a Savior coming into the world to rescue us from death,sin, and eternal separation from our Creator. It's my favorite memory of beginning the Christmas holidays. Once a friend said, "the eyes remind the heart." It couldn't be any more true now, than it was then. I realized that I had begun already collecting small ornaments and decorations that resemble or visional represent Christ. I hope we all see the power in the season and the event that changed the course of the world. Tonight I'll be visiting a LIVE nativity scene, with real people. I'm thankful for the arts,music, and performances that remind our hearts and bring it to life in unique ways. Sunday is the first time that I will have performed in a choir since I was young. It's been a powerful experience singing historical hymns like, "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree", and "Mid Bleak Winter." Hopefully we'll continue singing as a group, as this will be our first performance as a choir group at church. Tis the season, may yours be filled with the joy of Christ!