Christmas is just around the corner, and so we have dusted off our growing stack of manger scenes. I think I’d leave them up all year long if I thought I’d get away with it. I started a collection years ago (when it was still just me and Jesus) with the Italian fabrication company that makes Fonatanini decorations. On most (with the exception of only a few) years I add another villager or shepherd or angel to gather ’round the manger. It’s a beautiful, growing Christmas decoration with a lot of sentimental and traditional value to me.

In addition, we have a variety of children’s nativities—including the VeggieTales® singing one (with parts missing and Family Life’s “What God Wantsfor Christmas” devotional nativity. We have a world of manger scenes (literally): one from Prague that has seen better days, one from Kyrgistan (Kyrgizia) made out of felt, one from Africa (a gift from my Mother-by-Law), one from Poland made out of corn husks and cloth, a martrushka (nesting doll) version we picked up in Ukraine, one carved into a tree ornament from Middle Eastern olive wood. But I must admit my favorite is the one my Blushing Bride purchased as a gift for me as she was leaving Egypt in order to become my Blushing Bride. I’ve posted pictures and commentary about this Egyptian Nativity previously here and here. (If you read the different posts you’ll see two different angles from which to view the ideas.) So, posting about my Nativity with the “extra Jesus” is becoming another tradition for me.

I love this manger scene best for a couple of reasons: (1) it is one of the first gifts I received from my Lovely Bride. She took time to know that I am a Christmas fanatic, that I love depictions of the Nativity, and she took time to find this in the marketplace of Egypt in the middle of August! (2) I also, love this manger scene because it helps me to focus on Jesus. After all, isn’t that what we should be focusing on during this special holiday celebration? Not just Jesus, but more Jesus. It isn’t “another” Jesus, but some “extra” Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I find that I can always use a little more Jesus. And not just at Christmastime.
Oh, and by the way—when you find that you have some extra Jesus, you can share Him with others. I’ve discovered that when I share a little Jesus with those around me, the little faith that I have in Jesus becomes a little more Jesus in me.

Have a Christmas that is filled with extra Jesus!