(Re-post from 2008)
We have a beautiful nativity given to us by dear friends. It is a ceramic, all white, shiny set. Every year it has a special place, up out of the way where it won't get broke, but still visible for all to see.
Although the donkey no longer has ears to hear.
This year that space was taken, so I set it on our coffee table, making sure Jesus is at the center, Mary and Joseph at his side, with all the animals, shepherds, and wisemen worshipping him.
Wouldn't you know, I have to rearrange this several times a day, because of all the traffic in the living room, people putting their feet on the coffee table next to my beautiful nativity.
A constant reminder that I should not be worrying if baby Jesus will get broke or the animals are in their rightful place, rather God is using it to help me put Jesus at the center of my life, treasure him above all other gifts, with everything else finding their rightful place.
2010 update: It is again resting nicely on our coffee table. No worries except for our cat, Ginger, we acquired earlier this year. As I set it up Thanksgiving night, I had every piece in its rightful place just as my husband said, what about Baby K? He is the two year old I watch during the week. Would he stay away from it?
No problems with him, just the cat who has snagged her claws on the cloth underneath the nativity, almost pulling it all on the floor. I was not a happy camper. But again, God has used it to remind me what I need to focus on this time of year. I guess if my nativity ends up with no ears and baby Jesus shattered on the floor I will have to buy a new one. But realizing God never changes, He is steadfast and His Word is eternal.