My family, like many others, has a traditions of busting out Christmas decorations as a way of shaking off the turkey-induced comas. That, and my wife knows I would put it off until the weekend before Christmas if it was left to me.
There I would be, on December 21, asking if decorating a floor lamp could count, since the light bulb at the top could act as the star. But the wife, joined by the children living with us (how many of them are there?) demand this tradition be carried out in its rightful time.
Getting out the Christmas decorations meant pulling out the nativity scene, which for us means a Little People version the kids can play with. At least it was one they used to play with when they were younger. Since it remains buried away for 11 months of the year, it still draws some interest.
They will divide the characters into 3 teams, causing the shepherds to be picked last, even behind the fuzzy sheep they were in charge of. Teams picked, the storyline begins, with my boy introducing more danger than ever there was in the actual story. His danger is often created from a wayward donkey bent on doing evil. Mary, in the hands of one of my daughters, undoubtedly bears resemblance to a Disney princess. And so the story goes.
But this year an interesting twist was added by my 6-year old. Holding the angel in one hand and the baby Jesus in the other, Jerica asked if Mary would want the baby, as if this gift was one she could refuse. She asked from the perspective of the angel, as if from a Heavenly Baby Delivery Service.
'I sure hope Mary wants this baby.' To be honest, Mary's willingness was probably far removed from her desire. Did she want relational problems with her fiance Joe? Did she want to be ostracized from the small community she was a part of? Did she want to put on the extra weight without even a holiday as an excuse?
No, my daughter, I don't know that Mary wanted this gift as much as the gifts you have asked for. The gift was like her Spidey-power, one that brought great responsibility. It was a burden as much as it was a privilege. This begs the question...
Do we want this gift?