I have a confession to make. At this time of year, it’s common to hear stories of the intentional things people did in their childhoods to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. These usually include devotional readings with their family, attending Christmas Eve services by candlelight, and making birthday cakes for baby Jesus. Let me be perfectly honest here and admit that even while doing most of those things, my mind was generally parked somewhere near the North Pole.
But, even in my overly materialistic young mind, there was one thing that did remind me what Christmas was about. What was this deeply moving, doctrinally correct activity, you ask? Well, it was a toy.
Not a toy exactly, but a rotating musical globe with the nativity scene inside. It was one of the first decorations we pulled out every year, and oh, how I loved it. I would carry it around with me from room to room and wind up the base, then set it down and watch it spin in a slow circle while it played “Silent Night.” Hanging from the top of the globe was a blue star with silver sparkles—it was so beautiful, and it always reminded me of Glinda’s crown from The Wizard of Oz.
As I watched in fascination, first admiring the sparkly star, and then gradually focusing on the wise men and their gifts, the shepherds and their animals. My attention would eventually land on the baby in the middle, lying on a bed of hay. That’s when I would remember. That’s when I would be truly thankful for the gift of Jesus, on Earth, for me. In that moment, God would be so very real to me, right there beside that globe.
Looking back, I understand that the music box spoke to me so strongly because it met me where I was—not searching for deeper meaning, but wanting to see sparkly stars and twirling globes. Not a great Biblical thesis, not a pious display of righteousness, just the truth—right at my level.
Over the years that globe has tarnished, it wobbles as it turns, and yet I still love it. And I remain grateful that God is able to use even a kitschy piece of plastic and metal to show us what we really need to know. He is willing to meet us right where we are.
Is there a Christmas decoration or other object that is special to you? Why?
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