The CRÈCHE came down this week. These are the final scenes. As you may remember, the location of the people and animals changed every week for a month. The Wisemen never arrived in Bethlehem, as in truth, they did not head there, since Mary and Joseph were only in town for the census (tho ancient records debunk this story also). The purpose of this blog is not to argue the truth and fiction of the Christmas story, there have been books enough that do that far better than I can in this small space. But, suffice it to say, the Wisemen were shown, just not in Bethlehem. Stables back then were not barns but small caves or areas in the rocks that could be closed off to contain animals. Roofs were unnecessary for the animals but tradition makes us put some sort of shelter over the couple and child. Wood was scarce and too much of a luxury to put over an animal, plus it very seldom rains in this area. Most stables were on the outskirts of the city. You can see the gates to the town in the background.
In this last scene, the shepherds and their sheep have arrived. If you look carefully, you will see some chickens and little biddies, and the rooster. The trees are live (except the palm trees)… those are real rocks – most from my place in the Poconos, a couple from Maine, one from NH.
The Wisemen are still traveling, supposedly to meet up with the Holy Family a year later in Nazareth.
There was a different ground underneath everything when I first set it up, but whoever put the tree up behind the display moved everything from its original table (where the poinsettias are) dumping sand, kitty litter, and straw on the floor – so we just put a table cloth under everything. If I do it again next year, I will bring in a piece of plywood and get rid of the tablecloths… but, sometimes ya just gotta make do given the circumstances. As I said, everything moved to a different place in the church every week. This last week Bethlehem was closer to the middle of the church, to the left of the tree, just in front of the poinsettias. (For those of you who know me real well, yes, the roof is still standing! Lightning did NOT strike!)