For the past 29 years or so there has been a tradition with the Ham family Christmas, as many of Phyllis’ sons and their families would descend upon 312 Cherry Street in Brea. Always a lot of noise and laughter, mix with an array of Ham traditions. One of those tradition is that I am given by my mother in-law a nativity scene in which I collect. My collection has become quite expansive from all over the world and of course, Phyllis would say, “Now you can tell me to stop giving you these” and I would respond, “No, it is one of my favorite gifts.”
I love my nativity scenes that are placed throughout our house and even have a small tree just for those special ornaments. I believe it is the significance of the manger that brings me the most joy. I once heard a story about a lady named Rose who was married to a man named Joe. After having a son, Rose had another child, this time a little girl who was born with special needs. Sadly, Rose fell into a deep depression.
A maid in Rose’s home told her, ‘Until you make your heart a manger for Jesus to be born, you will never be happy!’ That upset Rose so much that she fired the maid. But that night, Rose awakened and felt the presence of God in her room. So she prayed, ‘O God, make my heart a manger for Jesus to be born!’
The lady in this story was Rose Kennedy, matriarch of the Kennedy family. She experienced true peace when the Prince of Peace entered her heart. This Christmas, do you need to welcome the Prince of Peace into your life? If so make your heart a manger.
Please know it is because of your love, prayers and financial support that City Impact makes a difference in our community with God’s love and peace. I am eternally grateful for your faith in us. May you experience the joy and peace of Christ this Christmas and throughout the New Year.
Because of Him,
Betty Alvarez Ham
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