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No Crib for His
Head Bed (January 5, 2006)
One year, she lost the Jesus. Nobody could find it anywhere; it's possible that the dog chewed it, or maybe it just got spirited away. For several Christmases thereafter, though the figurines made their annual appearance, the manger sat empty under Mary and Joseph's gaze.
Then, lo! One day, my friend's mother found the perfect replacement at a flea market. The family was reunited once more! Gather all ye shepherds and shepherdesses to gaze upon the child king, asleep on the hay:
It appears that the local flea market didn't have Jesi in quite the correct sizes! Either that, or perhaps, in his sojourn away from Bethlehem, our young friend developed a case of Acromegaly*. How alarming! I fear that at any moment, the overlarge infant will suffocate one of his parents (well, earthly parents) when he rolls in his sleep!
I'm not a Believer, and maybe that is why I can easily make fun, but doesn't it seem like many people with Nativities seem to get it all wrong? As some of you know, my neighbor's Mary is sinking in quicksand as she protects her young babe from the talons of a nearby bird of prey. And don't even get me started with Mary on the Half Shell.
To me, any solemnity that I may feel about the salvation of my soul is instantly lost when a freakish doll, who is supposed to represent a divine being, is put into strange positions, exposed to precarious situations, or subjected to abnormal hormonal treatment. I would feel much better if I were just raking my Zen garden or contemplating my navel. But perhaps this inability to transcend reality is why I am bound to this earthly life. Maybe next year, I'll get my friend's mom a pyrex roaster pan filled with grass for the Jesus, and try again.
* This serious condition, caused by a pituitary tumor and overproduction of human Growth Hormone, is no laughing matter. In children, whose bones are yet unformed, it leads to gigantism and serious health problems. The most famous acromegalic (until now, that is!) was Andre "the Giant", who unfortunately wore out his overworked heart and died in 1993 at the age of 46. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Acromegaly right here.