Well, we had to get a second set of lights and borrow a saw to hack off the bottom of it, but our tree finally looks and smells like a real honest to goodness Christmas tree! I have never seen the appeal in making a tree all matching and beautiful. To me, it's all about family and memories, and I could tell you a story about every one of these ornaments.
Here's the view of our window display. You can't see very well the fake snow we sprayed in the window per the kid's request. Now we just need a few more gifts under that tree.
I decided when I came to Singapore to start over with my Christmas decorating. I want to collect nativities from other countries. This is one Erik gave me a few weeks ago. It was hand carved in the Philippines. I think it might be my favorite.
This was sent to us from some friends in China. No, Jesus, Mary and Joseph probably weren't Asian, but they weren't white either! When I consider that God is every color and every culture and every language, it tells me how great He is.
This is from right here in Singapore, but I suppose technically you could claim it's from Malaysia, because it's made from cinnamon trees grown there. They hand make these at Tay Guan Heng, up in Ang Mo Kio. If you live in Singapore and haven't been there, it is a must see! I have a list of creations I want to buy there in the future. They are the nicest guys and it's fascinating to watch them work.
I told my mom I wanted to collect nativities and she said, "I think you should go open your Christmas present from us." It was this nativity from Chile! Very fun - now we're truly global. I'm opting not to show you our Playmobil nativity, but that's here too. If you're traveling to another country and see a unique nativity, would you pick it up for us? Ethan keeps asking me why we have so many "activity sets." He also wants to know where I've stashed all the baby Jesus figures (they'll come out at Christmas). Merry Christmas from the Butz house!
I love your nativity set collection! We have two sets here, and both baby Jesuses are missing, not because I kept them to put out Christmas Day, but because the kids have run off with them! :( I hope they show up before Christmas!!
Our sets are both kid-friendly... one is from Avon, and the other is a fabric one. But I *really* like your multi-cultural collection. :)
And, I agree whole-heartedly with you about the family, unique Christmas ornaments. We have an 8-foot tree decorated with those types of ornaments, and we love it! :) I love the memories that each ornament holds, and I go through memory lane every year when we decorate.
My favorites are the "Our 1st Christmas" ornament Matt's mom gave us, a tiny house that hooks up to the light strand and shows a couple kissing... our snowflake that has a photo of our daughter Jessica, who died at 6 1/2 months old... and the ornament Matt's mom (who died 12 years ago on Christmas Eve) had made from a photo of her. Those three ornaments always go on the front of the tree, where we can all see them well. :)
I enjoyed the Christmas letter that came today. I think your do-it-yourself "professional" photos look *great*! Doing them in black & white looks really sharp, too. :)
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