Monday, December 3, 2007

Slouching towards Bethlehem

On Saturday, the big kids and I went to a local church's Walk Through Bethlehem display. Wow, absolutely amazing. The hall was full of the sights and sounds and, thanks to a lot of spices and a lot of live animals, even the smells of Bethlehem.

My city kids rode a donkey

and a camel, yes a camel, named Larry, yes Larry.

And they got to see Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus close up,
live and in person.
Meeting Joseph and the Christ Child caused Shep to get this new kinda creepy shoulder shrug thing that he does lately for people who are really really neato, like, if you're stepfather to the Messiah, or you play guitar. Equal ranking in his book of coolness.

They even had snow, which only comes via a freezer truck around here.
The whole experience was wonderful,
it will definitely become a tradition for us.

So when I was remembering the experience later,
I had a thought....a brilliant idea! (uh oh).

I have four kids...
I have a Joseph...
I have a Mary...
I have an angel...
and yes - gasp - I have a BABY JESUS!!!
HOW did I not think of this sooner???

I called my mom, and she, the former preschool teacher, was rummaging through 30 years of fabric scraps before she even hung up the phone. Several phone calls, a trip to Joann's and the dollar store, permission requested and graciously granted by Miss Sue at the church, and we were ready to roll. I was so excited.

Holy children are assembled, dressed, placed in position, new camera ready to go and
- jeez scrooging louise.

Trying to get four small, squirmy children to look in the same direction, much less look cute, for the photo op of the year is right up there with untangling Christmas lights in the Joys of the Season category. I admit I was not behaving too Christlike while recreating His birthday. The whole experience made me want to rent my clothes and scream.

Most of them turned out about like this.

The little devil angel caused many of the problems. Some otherwise good photos were ruined by her attempts to take flight. You already knew how angels get their wings - now you know how they lose them.

Also, right at the age three or four, with every child something kicks in called Fake Smile Phenomenon. I don't know how they learn this, but they do. Instead of a pretty smile you get that frozen, I-can't-believe-my-spouse-just-made-that-noise-in-church look.

Even with Shepherd's Jerusalem drug dealer look, this next one might have worked...had the little angel not begun digging for gold for the newborn king.

Here, Mary decides to show a little leg while Joseph contemplates his next terrorist attack. Not really the effect we are going for. Next.

Oy vey! Can't you people get one decent photograph taken??

So here is the best of the worst. This one:

Or this:

I imagine this is the most accurate depiction of what the Nativity truly looked like. An ebullient new mom, a happy but shellshocked new dad, an exhausted new baby who needed a nap, and a beautiful angel who strived to be closer to the glorious King of Kings...which is what I need to go and do right about now.



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