Monday, December 27, 2010

Guess who's coming for Christmas?

Poor MOTH (man-o-the-house). I had bugged him for two (maybe 3?) weeks to bring down my grandmother's nativity set. Then one morning, his usual day off, he had to go in to work at 6:00 a.m. I got up and saw he'd taken time to crawl up in the cold attic and bring down the box.

christmas vintage I began to set up the familiar characters -- Jesu, Isa, Jesus, his parents, the barnyard animals -- atop our lawyer's cabinet. I decided to leave the Japanese lamp, with the woman who looks like a Persian angel riding an elephant, behind the scene, to add lighting at night.

nativity sceneWell, that's when one thing led to another. I pulled out a couple of whirling dervishes from the case below, then out came the Navajo doll weaving a blanket, to add a bit of local homage to the sweet baby Jesus. Of course, the magical cat and rabbit ornaments that I usually put on the tree seemed the perfect scale, and, well, once I got started I couldn't seem to stop.

vintage nativity set
Having no shortage of global odds and ends laying around within arm's reach, our usual set expanded to include Hopi kachina doll, a coyote storyteller, an angel amputee I can't bear to throw away, a gargoyle, a big witch doll my kid made in elementary school (actually he says his teacher made most of it, which is a big no-no in the art ed world but we love it just the same), a boy doll we call "Joey's Inner Child," and a little red buddha who's hiding somewhere south of the gargoyle.

I thought for sure the MOTH would be horrified, but he loved it. I do think it's fitting, and there's something about this arrangement that frankly reminds me of Christmas Eve at my house...


  1. Lovely post.
    we add all kinds of figures to our nativity scene. I especially enjoy the little chickens and roosters that my MOTH used to play with when he was a child about 60 years ago.
    So glad you are posting again.

  2. Now THAT's a true nativity scene! I too have an angel that I can't part with--even though her wing broke off. I have the piece, I just haven't glued it back on. I just lay it next to her and wrap it back up with her at the end of the season. I don't know why.


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