The Activity Scene

When I was a child, I was fascinated by Nativity Scenes.  It was a natural call because I loved doll houses, miniatures, and the Virgin.  This combined all natural things.  Though my mother’s set was plastic, we were not allowed to touch it.  Until my brother dared, placing The Three Wise Men on the other side of the room because really they weren’t suppose to be there until January 6th.  This upset me because my brother dared to touch the one thing I wanted to touch but couldn’t break the rules and two The Wise Men didn’t even show up for two more years.  How’s that for accuracy?  Those first years of the new tradition I fought it tooth and nail, moving The Wise Men back to the stable after my brother left the room.  The blood spilt from that religious crusade was ended when my mother declared that she liked my brother’s idea.

When I set up my own house, my mother bought me a real Nativity set, one with kings and shepherds instead of just the Holy Family.  While I loved the set, I felt I could do better.  I searched high and low for the perfect set, always examining The Virgin for the perfect mother.  I found a really cool stable first.  A year later, I found the perfect set.  Mary looked down with love and joy on her baby.  Joseph looked protective and proud as he looked down at his wife and child.  The detail on all the characters was amazing.  The poor donkey was still loaded with supplies, left alone in the rush to deliver the baby.

This was the first year Tornado E noticed it.  He learned all about it at school, though he calls it an Activity Scene.  Yeah, I know I feel like a bad Catholic.  So it didn’t surprise me when he asked to see it as I have it up far above their reach.

So I handed him a Wise Man. Tornado S asked to see one.  So I handed him a Wise Man.  Then Tornado E asked to see another figure.  I took the Wise Man out of his hand and gave him another.  Tornado S asked to see another figure, and I replaced the one he was holding with another figure, explaining what each person was.  We finished the set, except for poor Mary.

In the end, Tornado S had a Wise Man, and Tornado E had Joseph. Tornado E placed Joseph next to the Wise Man.

Tornado E: Hi!  I’m Joseph!  Who are you?

Tornado S: I bad guy.

Tornado S clinked the figurines together.

Me: No.  No hitting the people together.

Tornado E: If you’re a bad guy. . . .

Tornado E hit Joseph against the Wise Man, sending the container of myrrh a foot away.

Yeah, I should have seen that coming.  I collected the figures and sent the boys away as I glued the myrrh back into the hands of the Wise Man.  So concluded our religious and Christmas discussions.

Of course, Tornado E is asking where the baby is.

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15 Responses to “The Activity Scene”

  1. Jane Says:

    “Activity scene?” That is just too precious! My parents had one as well and rule follower that I am I stayed away and never touched it – but not my sister. In fact, my parents have a picture of my sister standing next to their “activity scene” (I’m sorry, that phrase is just too cute!) with a sign written in black sharpie that says, “Christy! Do NOT touch!” She was only 2 years old and couldn’t read but it kept her from touching it!

  2. joz1234 Says:

    LOL! That’s funny! I can totally picture my boys doing that. I’m thinking they should have their own nativity scenes made out of GI Joe men. 🙂

  3. Brenna Says:

    My parents wisely invested in a plastic one. Those babies lasted forever, through two intercontinental moves, until one Georgia summer when they all grew some strange grey moss in the garage. Yuck.

  4. jc Says:

    Activity scene is right! *smash*
    My brother would put the figurines in front of the train, on the railcars, and perched like ninjas in the tree. There was always at least one MIA. He graduated to hostage situations for toys. I should have taken notes.

  5. Gibby Says:

    I bad guy…so cute!
    At least your kids are close to the word nativity. Mine just call ours The Jesus House.

  6. future american/brit Says:

    I remember as a child we had a very old one that my dad had a tiny red light in it to add a dim glow and make it look special. I was told to look but not touch and I would ly down on the floor next to it and look at it while listening to Christmas carols. It to me was beautiful and special. Now, I don’t have a Nativity but I cherish those memories.

  7. zeemaid Says:

    I’m sorry but I can’t help but laugh. I have three “Activity” sets

    one is porcelain and mine too is up high. Although I can’t find the proper set so I had to make do with an old back up set and all I can say is that baby Jesus has an amazing set of pecs for one so small.

    The second is a snowman nativity scene, which by the very nature you think you could play with it but it is so cute I don’t know if I’d ever find that again.

    The third… is a wooden set that my dad had cut out and my mom painted.. she said it’s for the kids to be able to “play” with. Uh huh. Two minutes with O and baby Jesus was decimated. His little bead head popped off and the hay from his manger was scattered all across my floor. How’s that for Christmas spirit?

    It now resides up high with the rest of the “activity” sets. *L*

  8. zeemaid Says:

    oh BTW they have a plastic little people nativity set that I so would like to get for the kids but it’s $30.00 CAD. Maybe after christmas it will be marked down. 😉

  9. Maureen@IslandRoar Says:

    My parents have a beautiful old hand-painted Nativity that I hope to inherit one day. Each year one of us hides the baby Jesus and Christmas morning we play “find the Christ-child.”
    My father started this with me when I was in college. I know, we’re probably going to hell, but I don’t know; maybe God has a sense of humor??

  10. insider53 Says:

    Activity scene…….I love Evan.

  11. Court Says:

    Kaiya is obsessed with “bad guys” and “good guys” right now. Everything is: is he a bad guy? It so cute how they play this stuff of life out.

  12. Ink Says:

    Activity Scene and Jesus House? Love it…

  13. suzicate Says:

    Found your blog thru Jane. Cute post, reminds me of when my kids were at a youth lock-in at church and the youth decided to remove the baby Jesus from all the nativity sets and hide them. There were sets in every classroom and various parts of the church, so we’re probably talking about 12 or 15. It was a big uproar until all were returned. Thankfully, they didn’t remove the ones from the sanctuary. The youth director was a really cool lady and stood by their shenanigans!

  14. The Violinist Says:

    i got the “ultimate” activity scene from my MIL. She texted me asking if i was ok with her getting E a nativity scene, and while we aren’t religious, i said that it was fine. I was expecting a stable, a manger, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, some animals and maybe a wiseman or 3. … i got the entire Little People Nativity set which includes the Inn at Bethlehem (complete with bunk beds?), the stable scene that i was expecting and a separate wisemen set. Oh, an a little drummer boy set. 4 boxes. That is what i call an “activity” scene.

  15. faemom Says:

    You’re right. That IS an activity scene. And E probably only wants to chew on it. I hope you guys had a great first Christmas.


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