I seem to be doing my best Mark Reynolds impression when it comes to Christmas decorating I am striking out with every at-bat. After the Christmas tree debacle, I thought perhaps I should help with the other decorations.
When we were first married Trina decided we needed a nativity scene among our Christmas decorations to remind us of the true meaning of the holiday. Somehow she ignored my suggestion that we just get a Santa Claus with a baby Jesus in his bag.
Instead she created a beautiful porcelain set. She also made a velvet mat for the nativity set to stand on. Every year we bring out the nativity set and display it in the house. Once all of the decorations are in place we will gather as a family and read the Christmas story.
It is a tradition that has lasted our whole marriage. Typically Trina does the nativity set. I am not quite sure whether that is because she doesn’t trust me or if it is just her favorite part of the decorations.
Personally I have a feeling it has something to do with The Great Precious Moments Massacre of 2001 where several of her figurines were caught in the cross fire of a Nerf war between my son and I.
I learned a valuable lesson that day. Always make sure the heads are on straight when gluing and it takes a visit to the emergency room to separate two fingers and a tube of Super Glue.
This year I decided I would do the nativity scene. I carefully removed each fragile piece from storage and gingerly placed it on the velvet mat. One by one the characters were placed in the scene.
When I was done I stepped back and admired my work. Something seemed to be amiss. Maybe I should have paid more attention in previous years as to where each piece was to go. When I got done there were clearly some holes in the scene.
At this point I had two choices (or so I thought). I could rearrange the characters and try to fill in the holes. That of course meant handling these delicate pieces and given my track record with breakable items that didn’t seem like a very good idea.
The second choice was that I could just fill in the space with something else. I looked around the room and had yet another moment of brilliance. I ran over to my desk and retrieved three Arizona Diamondbacks bobble head dolls and carefully set them behind the virgin Mary and the baby Jesus.
It was perfect. That night we gathered around as Trina motioned that it was time for our annual reading of the Christmas Story. As she opened the book the kids started to snicker. Trina was somewhat annoyed at the children laughing at this moment.
My son pointed to the nativity set between giggles. Trina turned to look and suddenly made a horrified face immediately screaming, “Jeff!”
All eyes turned to me as Trina demanded to know what the meaning of this was. As calmly as I could I simply stated, “I thought the baby Jesus needed a little protection in the line-up.” I don’t remember much of anything after that.