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Good Thing Baby Jesus Wasn’t Claustrophobic

One day last year around this time, my then-4-year-old daughter and I stopped by a local Catholic store to pick up a gift. As you can imagine in a Catholic store during Advent, there were several Nativities on display.

While I was browsing the candles, Vaughn was enjoying the Nativity scenes. I noticed she was reconfiguring each set—putting the Baby Jesus in the middle, and forming a close circle around him with the rest of the company [sometimes it’s no small task trying to fit all those shepherds, wise men and animals into a tiny little manger].

Vaughn {proudly}: I’m organizing Mama!

When we were home later I noticed she’d arranged all the five or six Nativity scenes around the house similarly: Baby Jesus was in the center with everyone circled around him tightly. When I asked about it, she said:

Vaughn: Ev-wee-one wants to see Jesus…ev-wee-one wants to be close to him.

I’ve learned a lot from Vaughn in her short life, and this little gem ranks right up there.

During Advent, just like those who traveled to the manger for the first Christmas, we anticipate seeing Jesus. We long to be close to him.

I see Jesus all the time…in my children, husband, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and strangers. In a world where it feels like Jesus is sometimes squeezed out of the season, I’m reminded that he’s really always right smack in the middle, in all the amazing people that touch our lives every day.

May the perspective of my 4-year-old help me keep Christ central in my life—during Advent and all year long. Merry Christmas!


Julie Filby, wife and mother of two (ages 8 and 5), is a reporter for the Denver Catholic Register newspaper. She also enjoys blogging at Mother’s Musings about the simple ways Christ is unmistakably present in every-day family and work life. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter. She also contributes to CatholicMom.com and Catholic Lane.


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