Joseph and Mary, who was pledged to be his wife, lived in Nazareth. The Roman census required that each household register in their ancestral home. For Joseph, this was Bethlehem. The distance between the two towns is about 70 miles. This might be an annoyance for us to drive an hour to fill out some government bureaucratic form for the sake of paying more taxes (no E-filing back then, and I bet they could not imagine passing a Roman budget with a trillion-dollar deficit… Nero would not be Emperor for another six or seven decades).
Anyway, travel then did not include campers. Thus, Joseph and Mary set out, most likely on foot to travel 70 miles through some rough country filled with plenty of hazards, wild animals, and thieves. A power walker might complete 20 miles per day and be there in four days. A steady hiker might pace out 10 miles per day, and take a week. Okay, try being 8 to 9 months pregnant and walking 70 miles. Right….
Even though the Gospels do not mention Mary traveling on a donkey (though painters have put her one for the flight to Egypt), we let Mary and Joseph use the donkey referred to in prophecy. Bella and Tippy found them traveling up an abandoned logging road.
Given that we had snow this week, the shepherd brought his flock in for a few nights. Shepherds are no dumbies.
Now, those Magi were getting board hanging out in the shop. Santa sent for an elf to keep them busy. He suggested that they should have some presents to give to Baby Jesus. The elf works in the Carpenter’s Union and pretty handy with tools. He found some wood and nails with which Magi made a bird houses. Saint Francis may show up sooner or later in this narrative.