A ceppo is a Christmas decoration used in Italy. It consists of a wooden frame filled with symbolic gifts. Typically, the frame exists in three tiers.
Bottom Tier. Manger scene, representing the gift of God.
Middle Tier. Fruits and nuts, representing gifts of the earth.
Top Tier. Items representing the gifts of man.
Topping the ceppo is often a pineapple representing hospitality, or a star, representing the star of Bethlehem.
It is good to be thankful at Christmas… and in fact, year around. The gifts of man are nice… but they are unreliable, as man is just as good (if not better) at taking as giving. The gifts of the earth are wonderful and more reliable… but nature’s bounty can also be temperamental and can bring destruction as well. However, God’s gift is a sure thing… that’s why it is at the foundational level. We can count on God’s gifts, and hope for the rest.