I became an accidental collector of nativity sets. I mean, I didn’t intentionally collect them, but I have several. Among the collection is a ceramic one made by my Grandmother for me when I was in elementary school. One is handmade from County Tipperary, Ireland each piece signed by its maker. One is carved from olive wood purchased in Bethlehem.
When The Entertainer was 2 or 3, the olive wood nativity was on a large round end table that was the perfect height for her to see and move the figures. The figures changed position often depending on which girl had been in the room last. If The SportsQueen, who was 5 or 6, had been there last, all of the figures would be in a circle around baby Jesus.
One afternoon, I happened to notice that baby Jesus was missing. I looked on the floor, under the couches, in between the cushions, I couldn’t find baby Jesus. I finally asked the girls if they knew where baby Jesus was. The Entertainer did.
She took me to her room where baby Jesus was laying in her crib. I think she took the words of “Away in a Manger” to heart. Baby Jesus had “no crib for his head,” so she gave him a crib – her crib.
I gently explained to The Entertainer that baby Jesus needed to stay on the table with his momma. More than once I told her that baby Jesus wants to be with his momma.
The next time I noticed baby Jesus was MIA I went her crib to retrieve baby Jesus . Sure enough there was baby Jesus … and his momma.