Christmas memories of the Nativity from Peter Johnson Jr. and daughters

Editor's note: As seen on Fox News Channel on December 24. 

Peter: For the past five years my two daughters Blanche and Veronica and I have been blessed to share our family Christmas experiences with you.

Tonight we share our nativity moments.

As a child of eight or nine I would often sit near a large wooden Nativity scene from Italy my mother bought. When you wound it up it played “Silent Night.” I would get up close to it, peer into it as if to transport myself in time and imagine myself becoming witness to the birth.

Blanche: At first I thought my father was kidding. But then I thought of the Nativity scene on the Pacific Coast Highway and a homeless man respectfully bowing in prayer at its entrance as if waiting to be invited in. I was moved by his humility and so I asked -- must one be invited to the Nativity?

Veronica: And as Blanche and my parents discussed the nativities of their youth I summoned my own memory as an angel in the Christmas Eve procession at St. Joseph’s church. I was 6-years-old, wore wings and a halo and, yes, I believed in my heart that I was an angel.

Peter: And so I thought Christmas is not really about a diorama or a procession. It’s about a living, breathing Nativity. Like the homeless man -- how can we be invited into the stable? How do we become angels heard on high? How do we assume the humility of the shepherd and develop the wisdom of the three kings? There was no room at the inn for Mary and Joseph.

Blanche: But is there room in the stable for all our hopes and all our fears? The shepherds in the fields wondered as we do. And an angel of the heavenly host answered for the ages:

"Do not be afraid, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."

Veronica: [Excerpt from the Holy Bible] "Today in the city of David a savior has been born who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you! You will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."

Peter: The child awaits us. The infant as ageless as the lord summons all of us -- girls who would be angels, boys who would be kings -- from the cold winter night into the warm stable.

The price of admission is neither power nor riches but mere faith in a gentle baby born in Bethlehem.

All: From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!