Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Christmas blessings in a Nativity scene December 25, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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WHEN I FIRST PULLED this image from my files, I planned to simply use it to illustrate the true meaning of Christmas and wish you a blessed Christmas. Quick and easy.

But then I noticed something. Hands. So many hands posing in different ways. I knew this was more than just a photo of my granddaughter looking at a vintage Nativity. The same Nativity her mama, aunt and uncle viewed every December in Faribault.

Let’s start with Izzy. You can barely see Grandpa’s hand clutching her arm to keep her from falling off the bales in front of the manger. Grandpa was also stopping Izzy from climbing into the scene for a closer look at the Baby Jesus, which she wanted to do. I see love and protection in the closeness of grandfather and granddaughter.

Two of the three Wisemen also hold their hands in a protective pose, guarding the precious gifts they carried to Bethlehem.

And that middle Wiseman, well, to me his arms folded to heart symbolize love, how close we hold those we love most. I suppose one could argue he’s just keeping his cape in place. I choose to see his adoration and love for his Savior.

Then there’s Joseph, his hand gripping a staff. I expect he felt overwhelmed in many ways by the meaning of Jesus’ birth. Holding onto something physical can ground someone in times of mixed emotions.

Finally, Baby Jesus lies with his arms outstretched in a gesture of openness. Like he’s welcoming us to come and hug him, to feel his embrace. Izzy saw that. She wanted to climb right into the manger. But, of course, I couldn’t let her.

Instead, I stepped beside this 2 ½-year-old and suggested she say goodbye. “Goodbye, Baby Jesus,” my sweet little granddaughter said. And my heart melted as I held her close.


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)

Merry Christmas, dear readers! Merry Christmas!

FYI: To see more photos of the Nativity, click here to read my 2016 post.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


26 Responses to “Christmas blessings in a Nativity scene”

  1. Dawn Rohl Says:

    Merry Christmas Audrey!

  2. Trace Adams Says:

    Audrey, a beautiful interpretation of this picture, blessings on you Randy and your family. Merry Christmas

  3. Lovely post, Audrey. Merry Christmas! ❤

  4. Kiandra Judge Says:

    A wonderful observation! Thank you for sharing. If you have Netflix, there is a sweet little story called Angela’s Christmas about a little girl who wanted to be closer to the Baby Jesus in the Nativity scene too. It’s also a book called Angela and the Baby Jesus.
    Have a Blessed Christmas!

  5. treadlemusic Says:

    “Hands”…….able to do so much good (hugs). Let us remember the good and put away those actions that divide and hurt. Luv ya, dear friends!!! Off to TX in the morn. With family this afternoon. Knowing we are blessed!!!!

  6. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    What a little sweetie to love and spoil! An appropriate topic as, after 2 Christmas concerts and 5 Christmas Eve services in 2 churches, I finally realized I’ve seen one wood cradle with a baby. One church has gone contemporary that it seems has excluded their absolutely beautiful manger scene with extraordinary figures. It was replaced with a modern cradle and symbol of blanket lit with light….but no baby and supporting figures. Sad. Thank God for both posts….the art, music and warmth as I travel around. No question the singers that come together for Christmas choirs are the best experience, followed by Easter. Hallelujah Chorus! and prayers of peace for you and yours in the New Year.

  7. Valerie Says:

    Beautiful…Merry Christmas Audrey.

  8. Beautiful – made me pause to reflect today – thanks 🙂 Hope you had a Merry Christmas and Here’s to a Happy New Year!

  9. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Merry Christmas! What a great post. You notice and describe so many details in your photos that most would miss.

  10. Jackie Says:

    Love your insight of this photo, things I may not have even noticed. My focus was on little Izzy, you brought a lot of light to this image.

    • It wasn’t until I looked at the photo that I really noticed all that hands. I have, afterall, viewed this Nativity annually for nearly 40 years. This marks the first time I’ve noticed the importance of all those arms/hands and the ways in which they are posed.

  11. Bella Says:

    Wishing you the best of the season. I am always in awe of your attention to detail noticing small things most would overlook. And lucky you to share hand holding with Izzy.

  12. What a great post. The hands in this went unnoticed by me until you pointed them all out. Thanks for sharing and of course–Izzy is adorable.

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