What stories are you telling ?

On the evening on the 21st December, the travelling crib came to our house.

The crib begins its journey on the 1st of December travelling to a different family’s home each night before returning to church on the evening of the 24th December for the Christingle service.

It’s a church tradition and has been a part  of my children’s lives for as long as they can remember.
What makes this travelling crib extra special was that the figures were made by their hands at the age of 5 and 8 years old. Back then we decided that we would make some new figures for the crib as the existing ones were worn and shabby.

Rather ambitiously, I had decided that instead of cardboard figures we would make them out of clay. Not being artistic or having worked with clay before, we enrolled as a family in a pottery course and spent several months making our figures for not one but 2 cribs!

EPSON MFP imageAs you can see, they are very rudimentary in every way, though that didn’t matter in their eyes. For them, they were able to recreate a magical story that happened thousands of years ago.

From the putting together of the stable, laying out the straw, hanging the star, positioning the figures, lighting the candle…they were able to bring that story to life and into their lives.

And over the past 8 years, the 2 travelling cribs have rested in hundreds of homes and been handled by hundreds of little fingers as they create their own stories through one that has passed through centuries.

That evening of the 21st December as we lit our candle not only did we reflect on the story of Christmas, but also of the time that we spent together making, shaping, painting…those figures.

Each year as the crib comes to our house those memories are resurfaced – the feeling of the wet clay through the fingers, of waiting impatiently for the clay to dry, of mixing colours to paint the figures, of trying to craft a sheep that looks less like dog and more like a sheep….

As I listened to them I became aware of the happy memories that they have of making them, of contributing to something that is shared by others and of how it has become part of their lives and probably a story that they will pass down to their own children.

It made me realise that we are the stories that we tell.  Stories are part of who we are, what we have done, are doing and become part of our identities and give meaning to our lives. The stories you tell is the life you that you are living or have lived.

As the new year approaches, be mindful of spending memorable moments with those who matter and engaging in activities to create stories that will last and be treasured and shared through the  generations.
May you have some powerful and wondrous stories to tell in 2013.

What  stories have you told recently ? What stories have you been a part of? What stories have you passed down to your children? 

Flickr by The Doctor & Missus

Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead and on LinkedIn

VeraIMG_0722 cropI’m a professional coach (MA in Coaching & Mentoring) helping you to progress, make successful changes, be a more effective leader and communicator, improve your performance and team working. I specialise in working with leaders, teams and women through a blended approach of individual and team coaching, training, facilitation and action learning


About verawoodhead

I'm an executive coach, leadership facilitator and learning & development consultant working with managers and leaders to develop the skills and behaviours to inspire performance and drive results; achieve promotion ; make successful career changes, be resilient and thrive at work. Within organisations, I help to facilitate better conversations, design learning interventions which deliver practical and lasting solutions aligned to business strategy and goals. Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead
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2 Responses to What stories are you telling ?

  1. Thankyou for this article, Vera, for its sentiments and for your good wishes. I wish you a peaceful, happy Christmas and a joyful New Year, Louise

  2. Jo Royle says:

    I’m only just catching up on your blogs & wanted to let you know that I love this one. As you know I’m a great lover of stories & believe one of the reasons I’m here is to help people tell their stories. What I really loved about this is the connection created by the travelling crib… all those families which share the crib. It got me thinking about ways of creating connections & chains of people e.g. with random acts of kindness and there was something I read once about a book recycling idea where you could take a book that people had left to be recycled but you had to send a book to someone who’d previously left one (or something like that!)… that idea of creating new connections. Anyway, just to say… it got me thinking about different ways of creating connections… Thankyou for your writing and as always your inspiration 🙂

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