Christmas is coming, in fact it is only 12 days away. The radio stations have been playing Christmas music for a couple of weeks and lots of people have their houses all lit up. Decorations and preparations are everywhere.
We are not big decorators. This year it seems like it may even be less than some others. We have brought our tree up from the basement where it has been inside a big plastic bag, fully decorated, for the past 11 months. There is a wreath on the front porch and, if the weather settles, we may get the swags of mini lights out on the porch as well.
The one thing that has been with us for years is the nativity scene. J, my incredibly crafty (in more ways than one) wife, made this group of figures about 15 years ago and they have been part of our lives ever since. They will sit prominently in our living room, sometimes with a cat sleeping among them, till after Christmas.
Every year, J asks if maybe these folks are just too tacky to take out of the box again. Every year we say “of course not” , This year, for the first time, Baby Jesus has a proper manager, he had been sleeping in a bed of cotton wool in a tupperware container.
While the scene is probably not particularly correct in Biblical terms (drummer boy? angels, shepherds and wise men all visiting at the same time…..) it does help us get into the spirit of the season, remembering that the season is not about shopping and gifts and eating more food than is really good for us (although we will do some of that as well). It is about the Word that becomes flesh and lives among us.
!Legato seems to think that we need to show that real animals are part of this scene, just like they were on that first Christmas. So, here she
is, Olga. She moved a few of the other characters around so that she could get right in there with baby Jesus. This will be one of her favorite sleeping spots for the next three weeks. For a while Peppermint joined in the adoration as well. These two cats usually can’t stand to be within fifteen feet of each other.