I just have a lot to say.
December 20th, 2014 by

Searching for the Baby Jesus

I laugh at the Baby Jesus every year when we pull the Christmas decorations out of the attic.

We have an old popcorn tin full of Christmas toys. We have a Charlie Brown set with his little tree. We have all the characters from Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, including the misfit toys and Chuck’s favorite, Yukon Cornelius. (“Looky what he can do!” and “Bumbles bounce!”)

The collection began when Abby and Emma were two years old. I had my pretty, fragile manger scenes that they could not touch, so I bought a nativity play set for them. I don’t remember where it came from. One year, I represented Christmas around the World home shows, so it might have come from there. Or, I might have ordered it from the Lillian Vernon catalog that I enjoyed so much back in the days when Amazon was still just a river.

I set it up on their little table.

Baby Jesus 2

They loved it and played with it every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Being toddlers, they rarely sat still to play with it. They wandered all over the house with it.

“Mommy, ‘her’s de Baby Jesus?” (Where’s the Baby Jesus? Consonant blends are tough at 2 years old.)

“I don’t know, Sweetheart. I put him on your table.”

At the beginning, I actively searched for the Baby Jesus.

I found him in the couch cushions: “I found the Baby Jesus!”

“Mommy, ‘her’s de Baby Jesus?”

“I don’t know. If you would leave him on the table, you wouldn’t lose him.”

When I wearied of looking for the Baby Jesus, I just waited until I stumbled across him.

I found him in the bathtub toys: “I found the Baby Jesus!”

“Mommy, ‘her’s de Baby Jesus?”

“I don’t know. You shouldn’t wander around with him.”

Sometimes the Baby Jesus went missing for minutes; sometimes he went missing for days.  One year, he went missing for weeks. I found him long after the Christmas decorations had been packed away. We always found him, and we always yelled, “I found the Baby Jesus!”

“Mommy, ‘her’s de Baby Jesus?”

“I don’t know. I am tired of looking for him!”

Sometimes I heard myself say, “Bring the Baby Jesus back into the house!” or “Get the Baby Jesus out of your mouth!”

We lived in Birmingham for three years, when the girls were aged 2 through 5. The Baby Jesus survived the move back to Dothan with us. By then, the girls could sit still to play with the manger scene. Phillip never seemed as interested in him, which is a good thing, because if he had been, we would have found the Baby Jesus up to his eyeballs in mud or run over by a toy John Deere.

“Mommy, ‘her’s de Baby Jesus?”

“Why, he’s right where he is supposed to be. He’ll be right here until my future grandbabies chew on him and misplace him. I will look for him–or at least be aware that he’s missing–until I can again holler, ‘I found the Baby Jesus!'”

(I’ll leave the interpretation of this story for someone wiser than I am. But there’s a Sunday School lesson in there somewhere.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.