I find myself glancing up to the fireplace mantel often these days. Typically I notice a layer of dust, but since Christmas decorations went up a week ago my attention is drawn to what has become my favorite spot in the house this season.
The two items currently on our mantel fully represent the holiday season to me. Last year I found the beautifully hand-painted wooden calendar (made in Sri Lanka) at Ten Thousand Villages. Every morning at the breakfast table the children take turns putting on the new nativity piece and we discuss the developing Christmas story.
The other item on our mantel is our nativity scene, handmade in Liberia, West Africa. It still smells like Africa. I vividly remember standing in the crowded stall in Liberia negotiating the price, all the while having our newest addition 6-month-old Elijah in a sling on my front. Each year when we take the pieces out of the bag I'm transported right back to that moment over three years ago.
Are there any items on your shelves bringing your heart joy and peace this holiday season?