Thursday, December 14, 2006

regional Christmas

I'm becoming quite envious of Harriet's Christmas experience. I heard (scanned past) "Little Drummer Boy" four times this morning, electing instead to listen to the BBC coverage of the conclusion of the Diana investifation, which is at least cheerful. Meanwhile Harriet obviously only hears the song occasionally, but has had it up to here with Mariah Carey.

Not only does she have these musical advantages, but she lives around people with strange ideas about creche displays. (A Homer Simpson theme?)

Quite a few folks around here set up their glow-up outdoor creches the day after Thanksgiving. They will take them down on December 26. I think they're mostly pretty ugly, but rarely amusing.

Maybe it's the history teacher in me (OK, it is) but let's have a little accuracy here. Mary and Joseph only got to Bethlehem the night of Jesus' birth. The shepherds didn't come to teh stable until after Jesus was born and the angels gave them a quick heads up. The Wise Men didn't start out on their epic trip until they saw the star in the east and there's no star until after Jesus' birth.

Ergo, the only creatures in the stable as of December 13 should be the animals.

Then there's the issue of was Jesus really born on December 25, because shepherds wouldn't have been in the fields with lambs until spring... oh, never mind.

4 comments:

harriet said...

You are reminding me that we used to enact the story with our creche scene at home growing up. We'd set up the stable and the animals on a table on the first Sunday of Advent. We'd put the shepherds on the other side of the same table with the sheep. We'd put Mary and Joseph and the donkey on the other side of the room, and would move them closer each day or each week or something. Baby Jesus we hid in a box until Christmas Eve, when the whole family appeared in the stable.

Anonymous said...

I've heard of other folks who do that with the wise men, who don't arrive until January 6.

Alison

John B. said...

let alone the fact that Jesus was probably born in a cave...that is where most shepherds lived in those days...the quaint wooden manger scenes that we all grow up with are not a reality in that part of the world.

My relatives used to slowly parade the wise men around the living room, everyday ever closer towards the creche until Epiphany.

Drewster said...

Lemming is pretty correct. And yes, the whole season is representative of Jesus' birth. The wise men didn't arrive until three years later, I believe, and by then the manger was left far behind, so Wise MEn and shepards would be wrong too!

But reality of dates, seasons, locale and travel time aside, it alwasy nice when you see the creche dealt with as a true representation, with pieces showing up in relation to the events.

In my church growing up, we set the creche up at the "children's" Christmas Eve service, bringing pieces down the asile as the story is told. The Wise Men where kept in the nook of a stained glass window toward the back until the Feast of Epiphany, when they joined the display.