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.