Scenes from a Nativity

It’s that time of year again. Lights are wrapped around trees and banisters. Stockings are hung by the chimney with care. And nativity scenes, large and small, dot the landscape and decorate coffee tables from here to the North Pole. These are the signs that let our eyes know that Christmas is coming.

In many places, Christmas has been coming since well before Halloween. Personally, I’m of the firm and unshakable belief that the signs of the season should not assault our senses until at least the day after Thanksgiving. If the local radio station begins playing Christmas music in early November, they lose a listener until Black Friday. And if your home was decorated prior to that day, I’m sorry, but it was just an eye sore.

Before you begin accusing me of being a Grinch or a Scrooge (references that make no sense because they clearly found redemption and loved Christmas by the end of their respective stories), finish reading this post. I happen to love Christmas. I love the lights. I love the music. I love the chill in the air and the prospect of snow to accompany the holiday. I love the reminder that God loved humanity enough to send His Son to live among us–to be one of us. And, while I’m okay with hearing the story of Christ’s birth any time of the year, I think the Santas, the reindeer, the snowmen, and the decorations should only occupy a certain span of time on our calendar. Namely: December.

This isn’t even supposed to be about the timing of Christmas. I seriously got off on a tangent. I blame my inability to focus on my current stress level and the need for a Christmas break in my life. As i write these words, that school break is two weeks away. I don’t know how I’ll make it that long. Maybe we’ll get some snow before then. Maybe… but I’m not holding my breath.Scenes from a Nativity - SnowI really do love the Christmas season. I even get mildly excited by a number of traditions that I partake in year after year. No, you can’t tell I’m excited because I don’t have one of those expressive faces that so many people have. But, I love going to the Christmas parades. I love helping the kids with their gingerbread creations. I love ugly sweater parties and white elephant gifting and singing carols and wassailing. What the crap is wassailing?

I enjoy seeing nativity scenes in people’s yards. This time of year, I figure, if I’m ever on the run, I can duck into a nearby nativity scene. I can pretend to be a shepherd while my pursuers pass by none the wiser.

Back during my super senior year of college, we put together a live nativity scene on campus. Several of us dressed up and played silent parts. We even had live animals. Apparently it was a big deal. The local news came to do a story about it since this was Bluefield College’s first live nativity scene in over a decade. When they had the camera low to the ground getting a shot of us in the makeshift stable, the donkey took a stroll over and blocked the shot. Then, true story, the donkey relieved himself. I’m certain they got that on film, but I don’t think it made the final cut of the story.Scenes from a Nativity - That'll Do Donkey

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