This Christmas, Jesus is my hope.

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

I pull the nativity set from the box, releasing it from its blanket of bubble wrap. The pieces are ceramic. Pure white. The donkey is missing half an ear. It belonged to my grandmother and every year I think of her when I set it on my shelf.

She had polio at age twenty-eight and spent most of her years in a wheelchair. I loved the patterns her wheels left in the carpet, like a trail to somewhere secret and magical.

A pastor came to visit her in the hospital. He said, “Frances, this can make you bitter or better.” She would always say, with a twinkle in her eyes, “I chose better.” I run my fingers across the baby in the manger as I tell myself this story again. The Jesus in this nativity will always mean hope to me because of it.

It seems every nativity set comes with a story. Maybe it’s an heirloom full of memories, a special purchase on an outing that brings back a cocoa-scented moment, a relic from childhood with beloved dust in the cracks, a gift from a friend that came in a package with a red bow on top.

What I love about all these nativities is that Jesus is unique in each one. In my nativity He is hope and to someone else He might be a reminder of peace and to you He could be comfort and joy. Oh, who He is doesn’t change. But how His love reveals itself in our lives is different in each of our hearts, each of our homes. This is beautiful to me. A kind of Christmas mystery that I will never fully understand on this spinning, broken earth.

When you think of Jesus, what’s a word that comes to mind like “hope” does for me? I’d love for you to share your word by leaving a comment on this post. (Subscribers, to leave a comment please click here to visit the blog post.) This Christmas Jesus is my…(hope, peace, joy, help, Savior, etc.). 

I arrange the pieces of the nativity. I step back and smile. Then I set Jesus at the center, exactly where He should be.

Merry Christmas to you and those you love. I’m so grateful for you.


Holley Gerth


Do the people on your Christmas list need hope? What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days: 52 Encouraging Truths You Can Hold On To has over 600 reviews and is on sale now.




About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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