Away in a Manger

No Crib for a Bed

Manger scene

Baby Jesus lies in the manger while Joseph and Mary look on, along with a angel in the background in a traditional Christmas manger scene.

This is just part of a manger scene that has been a Christmas decoration in our home for many years. It sits on top of the piano this year, as it has for many of the past years. This manger scene has great sentimental value to Laura, because her family would display it when she was growing up, and her grandparents would display it before that.

Here is a view of the entire scene:

Manger scene

In this overall view you can see Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the center. A shepherd is at the left, and the wise men are at the right, along with some assorted animals here and there. The larger angel at the left was obviously not an original part of this manger scene. I suspect that her original intent was a Christmas tree topper. But she has been part of this scene for as long as I have seen it.

Every year, we hold our breath a little as we plug everything in for the first time, wondering if all of the lights are going to work. Once again this year, everything works as it should, which is always nice.

Merry Christmas, Whenever

Of course, the reality is that we do not know exactly when Jesus was born. I am 100% certain that Jesus was born on Christmas Day. No doubt about that. We just don’t know when that day was. Whatever day he was born was Christmas Day. But there are no clues to tell us what that day is.

But for whatever reason, someone decided that December 25 is a good date to celebrate the birth of Christ, so that has been the date for many centuries now. I do not think it was originally intended to be a “buy everything because everyone is having a sale” kind of holiday. But that is a large part of it now, too. While it is nice to get gifts, and even nicer to give gifts, don’t forget the real meaning behind the holiday.

On the flip side of that, don’t just remember Jesus at Christmas. The real reason that Jesus was born was to bring salvation to the world by dying for our sins. That should be important to us all year long. But it will only be as important to us as we make it.

So we might not give gifts and eat a big meal except on one day (or a few days if you have several gatherings to go to), but we can certainly remember Jesus every day of the year.

Bible Verse

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.” - Matthew 1:22-23

About the Photos

Once again for these photos, I used a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens with the aperture wide open. This was partly because of the low light, since the only lights on were the manger scene lights. But this was also because I wanted that tight focus and bokeh on the close-up photo of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Both of these photos ended up looking just like I had pictured them in my mind. That is always a nice bonus, because that does not always happen. At least not for me.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 Lens
Date: December 10, 2018
Location: Home, Williston, Tennessee