Monday, December 24, 2012

Woody the Camel – The Nature of Tender Holiday Memories

“Mom, where’s Woody?” This is a question that I have heard each Christmas for many years. One of the boys is looking for Woody, the camel they put out with our nativity set each year. They love that camel. It’s brown with a textured surface that looks like a camel’s coat. To boys full of wonder as we studied the wise men, it looked like a piece of carved wood. J  And from that, they named the camel “Woody.” 

He’s been a special part of our Christmas traditions since the first year we read
Jotham’s Journey, by Arnold Ytreeide. The whole family enjoyed that book so much, and the boys played with Woody as we moved through the story each night. They’ve got so many memories associated with him that take them back to the heart of Christmas, the focus on the Christ child, and all of the prophecies that were fulfilled. All in one simple, plastic camel that unexpectedly became a part of this tender celebration of our Savior’s birth.

 Woody’s been through the rough and tumble world of boys, so these days he’s got one broken ear and a bell that doesn’t ring, but he’s still standing strong. You never know what they’ll associate with the traditions you are developing. It is my prayer that you’ll someday have your own stories that resemble my tale of Woody—heartwarming and keeping the heartstrings all on the same page, no matter where they go.

“Hey, Mom, did you find Woody yet?”  J

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