Sunday, December 5, 2010

These Three Kings

 Some of my very first memories are of my maternal grandparents’ home in southeastern Kansas. They lived in a moderate sized town, in a two story of 1940’s vintage before my grandfather traded it off, which is another story. There were Adirondack chairs in the back yard and a huge hammock tied between two tall oaks. A glassed-in sleeping porch jutted off the back of the house over this yard. Some sleeping cots, a bureau, and a dressing table are all I can remember being there.

It was in the dressing table drawer that I found the nativity set. I wasn’t supposed to be looking in any drawers, but once I found the nativity set, I visited it often. It wasn’t fancy or expensive; it was chalk, probably from a dime store. However, it belonged to my great-grandmother, my grandfather’s mother, who could be a terror. I loved that Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Somehow over the years, I got that nativity set and set it out every year even though the facial features faded, arms chipped, and shepherds broke. One year my sister made me a ceramic nativity with numerous huge pieces. It was beautiful, but I always feared two rambunctious boys would break it in our small house. While I admired it, enjoyed it, my true love was the deteriorating chalk pieces.

Eventually, I had to throw the broken nativity set out. I found a small simple three piece set at a local shop. I put it out with a candle. Its simplicity seems to express the true meaning of the season. But each year, somewhere in the house I set out the three chalk kings that I saved. They are rough, but I don’t care. They might sit in the hutch, on an end table, or on a wall shelf, but they always look like I think the original Three Kings looked-weary and searching all over for this new Baby Jesus.


Linda O'Connell said...

Claudia what a lovely sentimental post. I have a littel dutch boy and girl made of chalk that belonged to my grandmother. They clash with everything but they mean the world to me.

Martha's Favorites said...

Hi Claudia: What a sweet post. I could almost see you pulling out the Nativity from the dresser. I love the way chalk figures look. Those vintage figures are so hard to find. Yours are a treasure. May God richly bless you this Christmas season. Hugs, Martha

irishoma said...

Hi Claudia,
What a lovely and sentimental post. This is truly a special time of the year.
Donna V.

Betty Craker Henderson said...

Mine were the first ones I bought myself after our marriage (at the dime store), in much worse shape than yours. Three chalk pieces and a plastic angel to stand behind. And yes, they are still put out each Christmas (now fifty-three and counting).