Tuesday, December 1, 2009

seen at the manger

today while helping my mother set out her plethora of Christmas decor, i was confronted with the age-old question:
"who was present at the birth of Jesus?"
this was quickly followed by a pondering of the time frame for the arrival of the magi and just how many were there anyway. three gifts are mentioned, but surely that doesn't mean only three wise men followed the star. this has been debated for centuries. two, to be exact. but i think i may have come across some valuable information from one of our haïtian nativity sets.

due to a noticeable lack of a staff or a crown, it is hard to distinguish among the players in this scene. let's see who we might find, shall we?

the fellow in the middle seems to be clutching some sort of flower. it's hard to say if this is part of his beautifully stitched robe or whether it might be a gift for our Lord. to his left i see there is certainly a gift-bearer . . . gold, perhaps?

according to the haïtian artist who made these figures, it would appear that at least one hunchback was also present in bethlehem that evening.

not only that, but there were also either some very close couples or two sets of conjoined twins welcoming the Lord to earth.

this guy is pretty much my favorite of the bunch. affectionately termed "stabby mcgee", i have been trying to determine just what kind of weapon he is carrying. fairly sure it's an early machete (aka: shank).

oh, it keeps going.
here are the "beasts of the field" if you will. although i'm becoming more convinced each day that emily was right in guessing the grey one to be the loch ness monster which would mean they are not all "of the field."

lastly, i use this woman as mary since she looks the most bedraggled of the group. i think it's foolish of us to think that after all that time on a donkey (cross country) and then after giving birth that mary would look any better than this:

thoughts? any questionable characters on your mantle?


Crystal said...

you are fabulous.

megan haug said...

my thought is- even the Haitian artist couldn't decide who was at the birth Jesus. After reading this, I got up to look at my moms coconut nativity. The characters are not all the same. While we do have the conjoined twins and hunchback, there is no bedraggled Mary. Our Mary looks like she had time for a quick hot shower and change of clothes after the donkey ride and giving birth.

angela said...

funny. the big wooden carved one i got near the baptist mission has no joseph but four wise men. two are the exact same.

Lena Wright said...

oh my, this is soooo funny. I have said this each time I have set mine up...there's a lot of people in the coconut. lol.

I have several nativity sets, and in one, I have an extra "wise guy" as they are affectionately known in my house, and in another, there are only 2. go figure.

thanks for the giggle....putting words and pics to my thoughts!

Kathy Eden said...

We have two Mary's & two Joseph's in our set...one white & one black. We also had some "mystery" duede that creeped me out so I got rid of him.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the laugh! I needed it! Mary does look a bit rough...even her eyes are going in different directions. I know I might have looked like that while pushing my almost 10lb boy out, but hopefully, once he was resting peacefully in his bed, my eyes returned to their normal direction.

Megan....hot shower? Surely a Haitian Artist wouldn't paint Mary in a way that depicts a hot shower. I mean, seriously? (insert sarcastic tone and roll of eyes) Hot shower!

Well, there are so many things I want to comment on! I'll keep the rest of my clever comments to myself. Thanks again for the laugh!

Shanley Knox said...

LOVE your new layout. LOVE you. Come to Africa with me?

Elias said...

thanks for the laugh, sistre. that was great. took me a while to figure out they're on the open wall unit door thing.

kathy - so, instead of "mary and joseph" it's "mary and mary and joseph and joseph"?

i find it funny that the haugs also have conjoined twins and a hunchback. maybe these characters have somehow made their way in to the traditional Hatian CHRISTmas story?

stabby mcgee is still my favorite.

Shanley Knox said...

um...get away, as in, to somewhere warm and sunny with pretty people and loud music?

angela said...


Christine said...

hehehe. you are such a good writer. i was laughing all the way through this one. "stabby" is definitely the star. except for the baby Jesus, of course.

Emily Strawn Photography said...

gosh i love you......and the hunchback of bethlahem

Salzwedel Family said...

Superb! I needed a laugh.

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this! Just too funny! Our family also has one of these and have wondered who is who. We have to carefully unwrap all of them and then decide who looks more like each person while we set it up. The one we wonder about the most is the purple dude? Like who is he and where did he (or she I guess) come from?! LOL. It is still one of my favorite christmas displays.

gramma peg said...

your insight is delightful...i'm a big fan!!! B) reg