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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Donkeys can't climb ladders

I love thinking about all of the traditions that surround Christmas. For me, the most special traditions are the ones that don't make any sense at all to people outside of my family.

The best example is my family's interactions with our nativity figures, which we all call the "manger scene." When we were little girls, my parents would allow us to help with setting up all of the characters. We would happily unwrap each little figure. We liked Mary & Joseph, loved the cute sheep, but were all secretly hoping to be the one to unwrap baby Jesus. There was no special prize for getting to put him on the table, but we hoped for it anyway, and squealed with delight when he was found.

Now that we are grown, my parents invite their grandkids over for a day of decorating, and the kids get to be the ones to set up the nativity . . . and yes, if I am honest with myself I have to admit that I really am secretly hoping that one of my kids gets to put baby Jesus in his place, rather than their cousin. Petty, I know, but true.

As we grew older, I'm not quite sure when, we created a strange relationship with the nativity's donkey. Someone placed him in the loft, which my middle sister (the logical one) objected to. "Donkeys can't climb ladders," she protested. Well, the game was on. Donkey up - donkey down - donkey up - donkey down. Now it has simply become tradition that the donkey goes in the loft. Sure he doesn't really belong there, but that is what makes it special. And you know what? I would put the donkey in the loft of my own nativity scene if he would fit there.


Doris said...

Yup! I just checked. The donkey is in the loft....with a few sheep. :) (maybe the next generation started its own tradition). :) :)

Nate, Michelle, Trent, Dylan and Aliya said...

I love the donkey in the loft!! I remember the very first time...and the logic of Jen colliding with my imagination. I think you got baby Jesus the most...how did that happen! The oldest always wins! What wonderful memories.