#137 Family Nativity

Acquired 1995

This nine-piece set is of my own family. I was overwhelmed at Christmas, 1995, to receive this set one piece at a time (after opening a box of Kleenex - what an unusual gift I thought!). The first one that I opened was little Jocelyn in her Halloween angel costume. I thought, “how cute!” I can put this little wood block of her on my desk in my office. The second piece I opened was Jordan - however, she wasn't in her car seat - she was dressed in white, and it looked like she was in a manger! I said to Mom sitting next to me, “Do you think I will get the whole set?” She said, “No Way”! By the time I opened the third gift which was Janine as Mary, and Joe as Joseph. I thought it was a complete set, until I opened the last box with the remaining family members. Then the tears really began to flow! What a special family I have doing all of this for me.It seems Janine and my sister Pennie dreamed up the idea of individual nativity characters. Janine arranged costumes through Linn Sexton at church, and Gene Runnels was the photographer. The kids then had the pictures blown up at Kinko's and cut them out. Joe with his wood talent, formed the blocks to the shape of the picture and mounted the pictures and sealed the blocks with varnish.The pieces include: Three Kings: Dorene, Rob, & RobynShepherd/MarkMary/JanineJoseph/JoeBaby Jesus/JordanAngels: Cody & JocelynAnd then in 2002, what a miracle on Christmas Day to be together as a family and be presented with surprise, individual packages for me. Each package was one of the missing pieces to our family nativity set. Again, made by Joe, all the grandchildren born in the last six years were dressed appropriately and photographed. Then Joe handcrafted each piece. So now we have completed the Family Nativity. We have added three precious little lambs, Jefferson, Hunter and Ireland - two darling angels, Jazmin and Holland and one donkey, Landon. We now have a full 15-piece set!In 2019, during one of my Nativity Open Houses, Carole noticed Rob was missing from the set. I hadn't noticed the disappearance - he had been there the day before when I showed the set to guests. None of the kids knew anything about Rob being missing until the last day of my Open House. Joe and Janine came in with the missing Rob and two more figures - our grand sons-in-law, Jacob and Bear! Our family is growing and so is my set - and Rob, the sample, is back!