Christmas Traditions

Nativity with Vignette © 2012 Bo Mackison

Nativity with Vignette © 2012 Bo Mackison

When I was a small child, barely old enough to stay awake through Midnight Christmas services, I was allowed to place the baby Jesus in the crèche upon our return home from church. One magical night, as we left the church, laughing and wishing our neighbors a Merry Christmas, large, soft snowflakes began to fall.

This was nearly a miracle in the central Illinois town of my childhood – there were many more brown/green Christmases than white Christmases, and I always celebrated with a little more enthusiasm when Christmas outside looked as I expected – all white and wintry.

I went to an amazing lecture from a woman in Tucson, author and cultural historian Patricia Preciado Martin, who spoke on the Christmas traditions of the Mexican-American people. She related many stories, from years long ago,  when Christmas was not celebrated in the stores or with a pile of wrapped presents. It was celebrated with ritual and family traditions, as Patricia beautifully told.

She brought many of the Christmas items that decorate her own home during the Christmas Season, including this Naciemento,  hand-built and sculpted by a well-known Mexican potter. Quite lovely, very meaningful to Patricia’s family.

Tomorrow, for those who celebrate Christmas, may you celebrate with wonderful traditions. Merry Christmas.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She will be spending tomorrow with family. Wonder if anyone will accompany her for a snowy Christmas walk through the nearby woodlands?

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. What a beautiful memory. Best wishes to you and yours!

  2. Wonderful story. The merriest of Christmases to you!

  3. I especially like how you processed this image–it suits it perfectly.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      It seemed to fit the simple figures. I worked it over and over before finally deciding on this one. Thanks, Anita.

  4. Very interesting story. I enjoyed it.

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