At our December family dinner I shared a favorite creche for my show ‘n’ tell.
One by one I put out the pieces as I told the story, the short version, since we have but one minute each.
But I had that one extra piece, a second Mary that came with the set. “Oh, yes,” I pretend-remembered aloud. “This is the Mormon nativity.”
Heretical and offensive, but you must admit it’s a little funny. Then I added that in the downsizing of our Christmas decorations I’d eliminated all of the snowmen and santa-related stuff in favor of a small collection of creches.
With the exception of one ceramic St. Nicholas, which was perfectly hand painted by sister Margi and therefore still a family treasure.
“What St. Nicholas?” asked Margi. I don’t remember painting a St. Nicholas, and you are welcome to give it to Goodwill.
Later that day I scrambled to find an item from our home to wrap for our office Christmas white elephant exchange. Aha!
Fast forward to Tuesday morning. My gift was the first to be chosen, and Nolan was “thrilled” to discover a ceramic St. Nicholas.
But it was quickly stolen by Eric!
Short lived, because Arnie stole it from Eric. The third steal is officially frozen and in the forever possession of Arnie, who knew his wife, Barb, would love it.
After the final exchange we could divulge who brought what, and I could tell the story of the ceramic St. Nicholas. Arnie looked at the bottom of his new treasure to see the inscription by his daughter’s mother-in-law, Margi.