Away in a Manger

The year my daughter turned four we were given an outlandish, culturally inaccurate, porcelain nativity set. In my preschooler’s opinion the very best feature was the tiny blond baby she could take right out of the manger.
She was fascinated to the point of obsession with that little guy.
To avoid broken figurines and cut fingers we strictly forbade her to touch Jesus, so naturally he sprang up all around the house: tucked between the stems of house plants; scotch taped to dining room table legs; on the counter in the bathroom napping in toilet paper nests. When our backs were turned she’d sneak under the tree and playact the Christmas story. “Hey you guys,” I heard her say while marching a shepherd up to the stable, “Got any Jesus in there? God’s ferries told my sheep to get over here and give him a sniff.”
Haba Nativity Blocks
Just before Christmas baby Jesus disappeared. We hunted for him everywhere. The season passed; decorations were dismantled; the manger and all the figurines were packed away with one notable exception. Baby Jesus was gone, never to be found.
During my holiday shopping this year I made a rather sweet discovery: a Nativity set made to be played with. I don’t normally make it my business to speak on behalf of the Christ child, but I’m pretty sure he would approve.

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