What is a Nativity…or all that Glitters at Roberson

Last week I was downtown for some errands and I knew the Roberson Museum in Binghamton was holding their annual international tree exhibit.


My last errand was an appointment just down the street, so I popped in. I can’t remember the last time I saw the exhibit. Just after I paid the fee, and stepped in, I realized there were some grade school groups ahead of me. I thought to myself, this might take a while, so I skirted the company trees and went to the second floor.


In between the halls of international trees was a new exhibit—the 1950’s. In the back corner was a 1950’s tree with tinsel and all. I remember my mother always saved the tinsel and when we first got married I bought some—it was only 27 cents. I was amazed.


The walls were decorated with posters of Elvis, Lone Ranger, Lucille Ball, Dick Clark, Rod Serling and others. Then of course the old movies—The Fly, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and many of the western TV shows of that time.




That ‘50’s room was a pleasant surprise, but I came for the trees. In fact, the mansion itself was decorated to the hilt. And here are some of the trees:




Slovak tree
Slovak tree

Slovak food


peacock tree
Peacock tree

brown fireplace



dark room



How can we remember our Christmas pasts, without the thought of finding the Christ who came to us as the Lamb? It is our remembrance, our saving point in time.


At the manger in Bethlehem, there was no glitter, no large crowd around the stable. The angel announced the message to a few startled shepherds in the countryside with the sheep. They trembled at the sight of the angel and the heavenly hosts. They left the hills immediately in search of the babe. We couldn’t really call that a crowd.


The birth didn’t make the newspaper, but Herod eventually found out.


The wise men followed a certain bright star that took them on a long journey, and that journey led them to the house where Jesus was a young child.


One day some third grade classes came to see the international trees. Out of all the classes, one of my granddaughters was the only child who knew what a Nativity was.


Sad…how Christmas has slipped into “holiday” and “Santa”, and “reindeer”, shopping, wrapping, eating and eating… and few remember the true meaning of the word.


At the temple Simeon waited…

“Simeon took him (Christ) in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

Luke 2:28-32 NIV


When we celebrate the Lamb who came, we let our light show the true Christmas spirit.


Have a blessed Christmas and my God be with you as you face a new year.

Much grace to you and yours!




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