Wednesday, January 6, 2010

~ Welcoming Magic & Wisdom on the Epiphany & The Nativity Dog

When Sweet Daughter was quite young, we began celebrating the 12 days of Christmas to extend the Holiday Season. Instead of having all the gifts on Christmas Day, I would give her little ones on all 12 days. It ends with the Epiphany, when the Magicians/Magi arrived in the Nativity story.

I was given a wonderful old Nativity set almost 40 years ago that had been started by a family member, whom I loved dearly, when she was in her 20's in 1948. As time went by I was more interested in getting a bigger, more elaborate one because I had lost interest in anything that was old or used. You can get like that when you spend your younger adult years not being able to go out and buy brand new. After I purchased a couple of larger beautiful sets, I kept the old one for my daughter to have in her room at Christmas.

It wasn't until this year that I really longed for that old simple, vintage one. It reminds me of the one we had when I was a kind, which had fewer pieces, and of the one I mentioned above from a very saintly woman who gave me mine. Over the years I had broken 2 of the pieces and that began my search on Ebay to replace them. And that is when I discovered the forgotten character from the story. The Nativity Dog!

You see by the time the Great Magi found the birth place of Jesus, others had already found their way, including many animals. And of course one of these was the Nativity Dog. Who could be more protective and caring to keep watch over the new baby? (Disclaimer: You might not find this part of the story in any of the books of the bible. But we like to think a faithful dog was there in attendance.)

This year I added the dog and some sheep, along with a couple of camels
and a new shepherd .
Mary, Joseph & the Baby are Italian rather than the
original ones made in Japan.

I'm sure the little dog greeted the Magi with the same respect that he would give the donkey or his friends the sheep. After all you know that dogs think we are just one of them.

We have a tradition of a very simple, peasant meal to celebrate the Epiphany, French Onion Soup, with a Fruit Salad and a loaf of French Bread. It is one of my family's favorite meals and that is what they chose many years ago.

~ Hoping & Praying for a New Year of Magic and Wisdom ~


  1. How lovely!!! Your Nativity is beautiful!!!


  2. Hello...

    I too enjoy celebrating the twelve days of Christmas and Epiphany! What a lovely way to celebrate and honor this blessed day! I love your vintage's absolutely beautiful! Love the bright colors! Isn't it funny how we seem to enjoy the things we have that have special memories attached as we get older? Your peasant meal of french onion soup sounds sooo good...what a great family tradition! Ohhh...and your table is fabulous!!! Enjoy, my friend!!!

    Warmest wishes for a very happy New Year!
    Chari @Happy To Design

  3. What a simple, yet elegant table setting, Donna! Your meal sounds wonderful and your nativity set is just beautiful.

  4. Your set is BEAUTIFUL Donna !!!

    I remember from last year your peaaent meal...the table looks lovely...

    And I too am hoping a New Year of magic and wisdom....

    Happy New Year sweet friend,
    Kathy :)

  5. Loved your post on the 12 days of Chrismas (though I had never heard of the 3 kings being referred to as "Magicians") It's great to hear of other people's traditions. I also have some beautiful creche's and really enjoyed the pictures of yours! Happy New Year!

  6. Donna,

    I am happy to see that many other christians celebrate Epiphany. My own Irish family has always left the holiday decorations up thru the holidays until after the Epiphany celebration. My MIL, whom shares a house with us, takes them down from her part of the house right after New Year's.

    My windows still have lights and the tree is still up while she has dark windows and no festive lights to celebrate such a momentous christian day. The dark windows seem soulless to me, but we all believe and celebrate differently, I suppose, and it is one part of co-existing that I must get used to

    My own decorations won't come down until this weekend.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful manger and the story behind it.


  7. A beautiful nativity and traditions. I love your table ~ the dishes are gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Oh my gosh -- I have the same crib from my dear grandmother!!!!!!! :) I have NEVER seen it anywhere else.... WOW! There aren't as many figurines in my grandma's set, yet I saw right away that it's the same set. I am way excited!!!

    Greetings from Munich,

  9. Well, it just makes sense that one (or more!) of those shepherds might have brought their dog with them, doesn't it?

    Have a Merry Christmas, Donna, and thanks for sharing.


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