By the Glow of the Neon Manger

IdealNativitySceneMy mind broke through the veil of cellophane and bows this morning when I went xmas shopping, mostly to replace things that got left behind or altogether discarded during my last re-location.  I thought that I should be the first in my immediate neighborhood to have one of those life-sized creche displays — the ones with injection-molded Jesus, Mary and Joseph with the Wise Men, Angel of God and some farm animals on layaway.  I figure that you start with the basics — the big three, the Holy Family, a ‘trinity’ if you will — and just keep adding a few other figures every so often, I mean churches have gotta get tired of laying out the creche every year and just wait for some wiseacre to kidnap the Son of God or some sheep — there has to be some kind of black market for used nativity figures; a garage sale or maybe a rectory sale — there’s gotta be a way to pick ’em up on the cheap!
Then comes the decision of whether to light ’em up or not.  For me, this really becomes a matter of what’s visible over the juniper hedge and I figure that just being able to make out that Mary and Joseph are kneeling over ‘something’ is far better than say, the tops of Frosty’s or Santa’s heads.  Is there any sacrilege in giving the Holy Family an inner glow?  Maybe it’s not ‘crass commercialism’ if I remember to switch off the optional, synchronized holiday songs medley and remove the blinker bulb from the head of the baby Jesus.  Somehow I feel that I should get some input from my non-practicing-Catholic family on this issue.

Also, there’s the issue of overcrowding on my patio, especially if I want to leave the patio furniture in place — I’ve looked, but there don’t seem to be any ‘kickin’ back-an’ takin’ it easy’, seated Mary or Joseph available — at least not to a layperson such as myself.  I’m certain that if I were clergy I’d need only punch a few buttons and someone at the Vatican would ring up some modern-day Michelangelo to crank out a seated Mary in durable polyresin with a realistic verdigris finish.  Just setting the figures on my chairs with a cuppa within easy reach just doesn’t create the same ambience as a dirt floor with hay strewn all over the place.  Even with colored bulbs and heat lamps, it’s difficult to project the intrinsic warmth of the manger scenario.  Again, suggestions are welcomed.

I did manage to find bunches of light strands and a good-looking wreath and yes, a faux spruce Christmas tree to haunt the back  of the entry closet forevermore.  It’s a 7-and-a-half foot tall Northern spruce that the manufacturer claims is “The Real Look of High Mountain Evergreens”,  but as I don’t see myself managing a “High Mountain” setting any time soon, I’ll have to take their word for it.  It would be more believable if the box also contained pine cones and a live mountain squirrel or two.

So now I have all the makings of Christmas cheer and it’s just a matter of getting it all situated where it looks as if I had fun decorating and ringing in the season.  Pulling off a successful ‘Old Fezziwig’ doesn’t just happen by itself — there’s a whole lot of planning involved with that kind of spontaneity!
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