22 Dec 2011
A LITTLE STORY ABOUT OUR NATIVITY SCENE
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday
A little history :
St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223 at Greccio, Italy. Traditionally, the main focus of Christmas decorations in Italy is the Nativity scene,presepio in Italian. The Nativity Scene is usually set up before Christmas, but baby Jesus is only added on Christmas Eve.
Yesterday our son sent us this picture showing one year old Toby, our grandson looking for the first time at the Nativitiy Scene and the Christmas tree.
The Nativity scene belonged to Mr. G. who got it from his aunt "Zia Maria", the sister of his father. He was 2 and it is now 68 years old. It is handmade and when you display it properly it takes the space of a dining table. When he was little his father added bushes out of moss and cotton representing snow, and aluminium paper as rivers. There was no Christmas tree. Families only had nativity scenes to celebrate Christmas.
The first thing what he picked up in Italy after our marriage was his beloved Nativity scene, called "Presepio" in Italian. On our first Christmas in our new flat we had to compromise with my (German) huge Christmas tree from floor to ceiling and his (Italian) big village. Fortunately our living room was very spacious but still he couldn't put up all the figures and houses, the way he was used to when he was a child. He had to squeeze it under the tree. Everybody coming on Christmas admired his "Presepio".
When our son celebrated his first Christmas he loved the tree and the Nativity Scene. Each Christmas it was taken down from the attic and displayed under the tree. This lasted until 1997, when the nativity scene was displayed for the last time. From this date on we celebrated with our son in London or we went on holidays on Christmas.
Now that our son has his own house where he lives in Amsterdam with his little family, the first thing he took along from our attic, was the Nativity Scene now for Christmas for little Toby.
It certainly will be quiet emotional for Mr. G and me to see our "Presepio" after 14 years when we go to Amsterdam to celebrate Christmas together. It certainly will bring back lots of memories.