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O Little Town of Bethlehem December 20, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Gratitude, Home & Garden.

Years ago, we hosted an Open House each year during the holidays for friends, family, co-workers, and the occasional random acquaintance.

One year, my best friend’s father attended and gave me the little red Santa as a hostess gift. Always happy to add another Santa to my growing collection, I thanked him for the kind gesture.

A few days later, while moving the gift from Point A to Point B, I turned it over and noticed an inscription on the bottom ~ My First Santa, by E Dix

As the words sunk in, I realized he had hand-carved the Santa just for me! 

A more profuse and effusive “THANK YOU!!!” followed the discovery.

O Little Town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight

Another Christmas craft idea ~ use paint, markers, crayons, or colored pencils to create a “Shaker” tree standing in a spool of thread with simple hearts and stars dangling from its branches. 

May you delight in the light and love so evident at this festive time of year.

For a darling Christmas poem (written from a child’s perspective) . . . check out The Longest Wait on Fantasy Fic.

For a darling Christmas poem (written from a parent’s perspective) . . . check out ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on Write Up My Life.


1. jeanne - December 20, 2011

Nancy, I love handmade gifts and ornaments! They help us stay connected to our memories of people and places that have passed through our lives.

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

They’re my favorite! Great reminders of wonderful times. 😀

2. Just A Smidgen - December 20, 2011

Oh, this would have surprised me as well. It isn’t often we are given something so pretty and.. handmade! How precious it must be,now that you know!

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

He carved birds as a hobby, winning awards and ribbons for the detail . . . this is the first (and last!) Santa he ever carved. 😀

3. Christmas is.. | jeanne's blog…a nola girl at heart - December 20, 2011

[…] O Little Town of Bethlehem (Spirit Ligths the Way […]

4. suzicate - December 20, 2011

What a generous and heartwarming gift! And it’s exquisite!

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

I agree . . . one of the nicest “hostess gifts” ever!

5. Sandra Bell Kirchman - December 20, 2011

What a lovely gift, given by a modest man. It makes me smile…inside.

Thanks for the mention of my poem on this blog. Much appreciated 🙂

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

You’re welcome. Your poem is darling . . . definitely reminded me of the interminable wait for Christmas as a child.

6. Andra Watkins - December 20, 2011

I must know the story of the zebra. Is it also a Christmas carving, or does it live there year-round?

The Santa is so cute. A very talented friend.

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

The Zebra is a year round visitor, along with several others (a coffee drinking zebra, a “hippo-zebra,” a fishing zebra, a Mexican burro-zebra, and lots of photos and paintings of zebras . . . laughing, reflecting, grazing).

Zebras rock!

7. kateshrewsday - December 20, 2011

Oooh, might try that Christmas craft idea with the kids!

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

It’s EASY and FUN . . . using shapes that they are used to creating ~ hearts and stars. And the results are darling.

8. sufilight - December 20, 2011

Wow, what a nice gesture from your friend. I look forward to your Holiday stories. 🙂

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

Thanks, Marie. It’s been FUN sharing them.

Carved birds occupied the majority of time he carved out for his hobby . . . so receiving a Santa was a real treat.

9. earlybird - December 20, 2011

A hand carved Santa – what an amazing gift.

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

A very special treat.

Hope you’re enjoying your yuletide snowfall in Provence, EB. Blizzards in the mid-west and Texas have brought traffic to a standstill in many places.

And they’re running out of rooms “at the Inn.” 😉

10. Piglet in Portugal - December 20, 2011

A hand carved Santa, what a lovely gift!

Boas Festas e Feliz Natal!

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

Thanks, PiP! Feliz Natal!

11. souldipper - December 20, 2011

What a Christmas gift…a hand carved anything! Glad you noticed the signature in time to be “more profuse and effusive”!

nrhatch - December 20, 2011

Same here, Amy. How awful if the lightbulb hadn’t gone off within a few days of the party.

12. jannatwrites - December 20, 2011

How cool to find out he carved it (usually we look on the underside of a gift and see ‘made in China’). Okay, I’m exaggerating a little, but still it must be a sweet feeling to know you have a true one-of-a-kind!

nrhatch - December 21, 2011

Hand-crafted items are my favorite . . . especially when I know the artist made it with me in mind.

Those “Made in China” stickers are rather ubiquitous . . . I wonder if they say “Made in China” on the back? 😛

13. Cindy - December 20, 2011

That is just so sweet, Nancy 🙂

nrhatch - December 21, 2011

A delightful surprise. 😀

14. bluebee - December 21, 2011

The very best kind of gift

nrhatch - December 21, 2011

I agree. Giving and receiving hand-crafted items extends holiday warmth past the parameters of the year.

15. Julie Hedlund - December 21, 2011

Thanks for sharing my post Nancy!

The Longest Wait really made me laugh. Do you remember those old clock radios where the numbers actually flipped? My brother and I used to wake up at 3 in the morning and just watch those numbers move for 3 hours (we weren’t allowed to go downstairs until 6). Oh the agony of waiting! 🙂

nrhatch - December 21, 2011

Yes! We had one of those in our room and we also had a “curfew” in effect until at least 6 am on Christmas. I ALWAYS woke up too early to go downstairs and get my stocking.

16. eof737 - December 22, 2011

“May you delight in the light and love so evident at this festive time of year.”
Amen to that and the gorgeous hand made Santa in your collection. 🙂

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

Until she read this post, my sister didn’t know/remember that I had a hand-carved Santa from E. Dix . . . she’s coming tonight to drop off my nieces.

I’ll have to keep an eye on the little guy! 😉

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