I have always loved being the youngest (of 3) in my family for lots of reasons, but one hilarious aspect is the difference between my nativity set and my siblings'. They both have completely matched sets that were given to them brand new. I had mismatched hand-me-downs.
To redeem my parents, I must point out that my dad lovingly handcrafted and painted a triangular stable out of a fruit crate and I will keep that for always. A few years ago, they also gave me a lovely set that they had first given to my grandparents, which my mom bought when she was a graduate student in Chicago in the late fifties. When I got our Christmas things out this year, however, I realized that my old figurines need to go. To say a proper goodbye, I have lovingly photographed each one (click on them if you would like to embiggen).
This sad little donkey makes Eeyore seem like the life of the party. You'd be depressed, too, if you had a chipped ear, a reglued head, and a freaking topiary fusing to your legs.
The wise men look like they could use a stiff drink. Insert joke about them being late because they wouldn't stop to ask for directions.
"Sheep without a face / such an ovine waste / your sheep without a face."
The babe in the manger. Thanks to a stress fracture (not pictured), you can now pull the hay out from behind his shoulders to give a hovering effect. The first miracle? This baby Jesus has always been a source of levity for us (heh), because we used to act out dramas with our nativity sets. (Yes, we were the Flanders family. Shut up.) My siblings' Jesi were removable from their mangers, but mine is shellacked in place. So in the episode when the baby Jesuses ran away, theirs could hop right out, whereas mine had to haul his manger on his back like a turtle.
Some poachers must have mistook the cow for a rhino, and the missing-eared calf looks like a bovine prototype of Bib Fortuna.
Finally, we get to the holy parents. Joseph must have made one too many comments about Mary's weight.
Then again, maybe I should keep these figures around for a while. I can blend them with my kids' nativity sets (purchased for them by my parents) for entirely new scenarios.
Herod: "Salome, I present you the head of Joseph the Carpenter."
Salome: "You idiot! I specifically said 'JOHN THE BAPTIST'! Really? Do I have to do EVERYTHING myself?"