A Christmas Story - out of the mouths of babes

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A friend of mine was babysitting for her nieces, aged 3, 5, and 7, at their house while her sister, their mother, did some last-minute shopping. The 5-year-old took her around the house, pointing out the Christmas decorations. When they got to the nativity scene, the little girl stopped, puzzled, and wanted to know who those three men were. When told they were the wise men, she flipped out. "That's all wrong! It's not Christmas yet. They shouldn't be there. They're still traveling!" And then she spotted the babe in the manger. "And what is he doing there? He should still be in Mary's tummy!" She wasn't satisfied until the wise men and the baby were relocated to other parts of the house to await their cue.

The children's mother noticed the three wise men in an unusual place when she got home and gave my friend a questioning look. My friend told her to keep an eye out for baby Jesus. Come to find out, the 5-year-old wants to become a nun. Apparently she's well up on at least one of the Bible stories. :) 

 

 

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Well she has it right, Jesus is never in his manger prior to Christ Mass

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3 hours ago, Jeannine said:

Well she has it right, Jesus is never in his manger prior to Christ Mass

I can't recall ever seeing an empty manger. Is there a particular sect that leaves him out until Christmas day?

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In a lot of the antique sets I have seen Baby Jesus is separated from the manger.  It's how He gets stolen from a lot of Christmas scenes around here. One of our local hospitals had to install a security camera because someone made off with the Baby Jesus so many times.

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I put Baby Jesus in the stable tonight, along with the shepherds, and on 6 January I add the Magi, and it stays up throughout Epiphany.  My maternal grandparents had paper mache figures except for Baby Jesus, which was wax.  He didn't survive long after the move to S FL and the entire set was replaced with a cheap plaster set popular in the 1950s.

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2 hours ago, havanaholly said:

I put Baby Jesus in the stable tonight, along with the shepherds, and on 6 January I add the Magi, and it stays up throughout Epiphany.  My maternal grandparents had paper mache figures except for Baby Jesus, which was wax.  He didn't survive long after the move to S FL and the entire set was replaced with a cheap plaster set popular in the 1950s.

But didn't the Magi arrive on Jan 6? Such a lot of traditions. In our house, Christmas decorations must disappear before Epiphany. Jan 6 is when the King Cakes and other Mardi Gras regalia comes out. 

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4 hours ago, KathieB said:

But didn't the Magi arrive on Jan 6? Such a lot of traditions. In our house, Christmas decorations must disappear before Epiphany. Jan 6 is when the King Cakes and other Mardi Gras regalia comes out. 

That's why they're waiting to appear until 6 January, although starting tomorrow they'll start to inch their way across the living room.

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By Twelfth night all decorations should be down,it was another special dinner day in our house and when my mother made tradiotional made Twelfth night cake.

Re baby in manger in church. I don't know if it particular to any specific sect but I have never seen him in it  prior to Christmas Eve in many churches , he is usually carried in by the choir as they make their entrance.

In my ceramic studio we poured a selection of nativity scenes and they all had separate infants except one, I was always asked to modify it in the making so he could be taken out. I have just bought a dollhouse size set of molds to make  a full nativity , I didn't look that close when I bought it so I may  have to modify that one too. It is at the border as we speak but can't get him till Wednesday

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We never but baby in the manger, he was separate from the manger, the three wise men used to be taken out and placed on the opposite  side of the room until January 6th.  Lots of different traditions!  We never put up the Christmas tree until after the 15th, not sure why, but that was the rule, I have never done it before either lol.  

I got my dollhouse Nativity set last week, the baby is so tiny, but I really like it, there is even a Shepard with a lamb around his neck just like the one we used to have at home, except these are all white. There is a donkey, cow, sheep and camel, plus the wise men along with the family. I will get a picture when I get back home. 

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This is a real revelation to me. It would have been so much more interesting to have a moving tableau that the static arrangement of people and animals that has always been my experience. On the other hand, I guess we just accepted that having everyone gathered at the stable was a celebration of the culmination of events -- a sort of condensed timeline, as it were. :) 

Thanks for the enlightenment, everyone.

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Barb, trees in our house waited till the 15th too.

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We usually waited to put the tree up until the last Sunday in Advent and when we have one now it goes up a week or two before Christmas; always comes down on Epiphany.  I do leave the crèche up until after Epiphany season, just because I like the reminder.

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11 hours ago, KathieB said:

This is a real revelation to me. It would have been so much more interesting to have a moving tableau that the static arrangement of people and animals that has always been my experience. On the other hand, I guess we just accepted that having everyone gathered at the stable was a celebration of the culmination of events -- a sort of condensed timeline, as it were. :) 

Thanks for the enlightenment, everyone.

I'd never heard of any of this before either, but then my parents didn't celebrate Christmas.  Next year I'll try the "moving tableau" idea for my nativity scene.   I put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving and take it down after New Year's Day.

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Kathie, we never moved ours either. Like you said, I always thought of it as a representation of the event that had happened. But re-enacting it is a neat idea, I may try that.

My favorite ornament we had on our tree when I was little was a small nativity scene. It was brown plastic, and about 2 or 3" tall, and it had silver glitter on the roof. Funny how I still remember that.

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