Something short and sweet today, because it’s Christmas Eve and I’m sure most of us will be busy doing last-minute shopping and preparations for tomorrow. I know I do.
“Away in the manger” is one of the most popular Christmas carols in the English-speaking world. It sums up the atmosphere of a stable with a family celebrating the birth of their new born baby son. This year we celebrate 800 years of the Christmas crib scene, those models and representations of the birth of Jesus in the stable. They come in all shapes and sizes and are mainly set up in churches but they appear almost everywhere at this time of year.
I remember a special one from my childhood. It was a scene of the Nativity, made in brown plastic about 6 inches high. It was clockwork, and when you wound it up it played “Silent Night”, and a circle of plastic donkeys would revolve around the central scene of Many, Joseph and the baby Jesus. It got wound up a lot, and I’m surprised it lasted so many years. I wonder if my brother still has it.
The person we have to thank for coming up with the idea of having a scene of the Nativity to celebrate Christmas is a famous queer saint I wrote about earlier this year – St. Francis of Assisi.
Fortunately, I don’t need to write about today it because I did so several years ago in my Advent series of 2019. So, I’ll direct you there.
Thank you all for following me throughout 2023. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and all my seasonal best wishes to you all.