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.
Well, 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.
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...