Holiday light displays. We all know that block which goes all out to put up light shows, yard figures, maybe even a “live nativity scene” (there was one out our way which had a live camel, but they seemed to pick the coldest days of the year to stand outside waving at passing cars). More recently, we have noticed fan-blow up figures on people’s lawns and houses. Sadly, on a cold nights, the fans are rather slow, leaving Santa looking like he has been on a bender and Frosty looking toasted from too much holiday punch. Some years ago, after Christmas, I went on-line to determine what the old-fashioned plastic figures were: Blowforms (and for you Made-In-The USA folks, they are made in Norfolk, VA!).
Wouldn’t you know they are 50% off the week after Christmas. I ordered Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus in the manger, a Shepherd and three Sheep, Ox and Donkey, three Magi and a Camel. I got a call from the Post Office a week later that I better bring my truck down to pick them all up. If I didn’t they were going to set them up outside the Post Office because they were taking up too much space inside (they were joking, of course).
Now, I have issues which how some folks set up their yard display Nativities… Not just adding a few Reindeer, Nutcrackers, and Candycanes in among the shepherds and magi. Being a Nativity Purist, it must remain empty, except for the ox, donkey, possibly the shepherd and sheep, until Christmas Eve. Mary and Joseph DO NOT sit in the stable from Halloween until Christmas. NO. They have to be traveling to Bethlehem for a while before finding no room in the inn. Baby Jesus, likewise, DOES NOT show up until Christmas morning. No premies in that story. The Shepherds DO NOT show up until the angle instructs them to (by the way, I cannot find a blowform Angle anywhere, thus substitute another yard art angle). The Magi and camel DO NOT show up until 12th Night. Get it!
Thus, from after Thanksgiving, Mary and Joseph with donkey, travel around our property, as well as a couple of neighbors who find this amusing. The shepherd tends to his flock of three sheep in the fields and forest. They will show up on the correct day according to tradition. The Magi and camel stay in storage until Christmas day, then they wander around for a couple of weeks. Then the Magi leave without telling King Herod where the newborn king is; Mary, Joseph, and the donkey head off Jerusalem for Jesus’ naming and circumcision (before fleeing to Egypt), and the shepherd goes back to the field.
Thus, enjoy some photos of their journeys while contemplating the implications of God’s entry into human existence.