Makes Me Sigh

Bustin’ Jesus

Many years ago, long before I had a child, or any hope of having a child, my house was not filled with large plastic primary colored things but with beautiful and breakable things. It was in those days that my mom bought me a lovely nativity set for Christmas.  My dad made me a manger to go with it which makes it even more special.  It is one of my favorite Christmas things.

Since it is breakable, I’ve always firmly impressed upon Sean that he is not to touch the nativity – only under threat of death or mortal sin is he to touch the nativity set  BECAUSE IT COULD BREAK AND THAT WOULD MAKE MOMMY UNHAPPY.  And he gets it when I speak in all caps, so he has never bothered it.

This year Sean watched me closely as I set up the nativity set and patiently listened to my exhortations to keep his mitts off the holy family.  And just as I am laying baby Jesus in his crib, I drop him and his head breaks cleanly off and rolls under the sofa.

Dark and foreboding clouds gathered on the horizon and silence engulfed the room. The lights on the tree flickered, sizzled and then went out.  Small animals scurried for cover. Mommy was unhappy.

Sean’s eyes grew as big as saucers.  He gasped and put both of his hands up to his mouth.

“Mommy… are you unhappy?” he whispers.

I hung my head in shame.  I had fully expected that when one of the pieces got broken, I would get to blame someone other than myself.

“Yes, Sean I’m not very happy about this,” I said as I felt around for Jesus’ head under the sofa.

Then he turns and hollers up the stairs, triumphantly ratting me out, “Daddy! Mommy busted Jesus!”

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The saving grace of Jesus and a little super glue can fix anything.

40 thoughts on “Bustin’ Jesus

  1. One year, when I was growing up, our dog chewed the head off of Jesus. You would think that maybe we might have gotten a new nativity, but no, we just put him back in the manager every year, the chewed up headless Jesus.

  2. Oh dear. That’s a lot of sacrilege in one little post. =)

    My nativity set is from Fisher Price. Mim has been dragging baby Jesus around in the included hay wagon ever since I put it all out. At least it’s all but unbreakable. We have, however, had to look for Jesus under the couches several times.

    I have to think He just looks at us and laughs.

  3. Our baby Jesus and other nativity cast members also end up MIA frequently. Ours is Playmobil, and my son still loves it at almost 8.

    So glad for the super glue . . .

    I’m sure Jesus is smiling down on you.

  4. When I was a kid, we had large, hollow, plastic nativity figures, with room for a light inside them so they could glow. I still remember the “thunk” noises they made when my sister and I fought, using them as lightsabers.

  5. My mom gave us a beautiful ceramic set, and I made the mistake of trying to put it out a couple of years ago, with similar results. My chidren were the culprits though. My mom gave us another nativity last year – but, thankfully, it has plastic figurines. :>

  6. My parents have the same plastic set as Veronica I think and they set them up outdoors every year. After particularly heavy winds we always draw straws to see who will “rescue” the baby Jesus who has inevitably blown out of his manger down the street.

    Maybe we should try superglue.

  7. My mom gave us a set of Fontanini nativity pieces a decade ago, and they’ve been wonderful. They’re some kind of resin which has the look of nice porcelain or ceramic, but is much less breakable. Every year the kids play with them, and after a decade and four kids, only one elephant tusk has required surgery. (Yes, an elephant. One of the wise men was a little offbeat, apparently.)

  8. We had a mishap with a wise man this year. My five year old accidentally knocked him off the table while reaching for something. I don’t think there is any hope for him because he broke into quite a few pieces; however, I’m going to try to fix him because Bethany was very upset that she broke him.

  9. AM, I busted baby Jesus last year too. We were rehearsing for a short play and baby Jesus was standing in as a prop. His head rolled right off…

  10. Honestly I would rather I break something of mine than somebody else’s because then I don’t feel as bad. I hate feeling mad at one of my kids for something that is usually an accident, but they should know better than to touch certain things anyway. I used to have a beautiful Christmas snow globe. It had beautiful angels inside of it and the snow was little gold flecks. I loved it. One year as I was putting it away I dropped it. Not only was it a huge mess to clean up, but I was really ticked off at myself. I’m glad it wasn’t one of my kids that broke it. I’m glad you were able to fix Baby Jesus. He looks fine.

  11. I love the photo! Your nativity looks much like mine.

    My husband thought I’d lost my mind one evening when I’d been decorating for Christmas. I had painted some antique windows that year with Christmas scenes and had hung 2 in the living room…one over the entertainment center where all my prized Christmas decorations were displayed. The wire snapped that was hanging the window and down it fell, landing propped against the tv screen. I couldn’t even look at what had been damaged. I sat on the couch in tears and my husband chose that moment to walk in. He just knew someone had died. I merely pointed at the window that landed in the floor and he went to investigate the damage. Turns out not. a. thing. broke. Amazing! He simply restrung the wire on the back of the window and rehung it. You can imagine the joy he gets telling that story and embelishing upon my misguided devastation.

  12. You made Baby Jesus cry!!! LOL!! I recently broke a VERY IMPORTANT thing, too and I still can’t believe I did it after having it for over 20 years. Thank goodness for super glue.

  13. My mom crafted a nativity set herself many years ago, and Jesus’s hair was made out of a Brillo™ pad. She spray-painted the whole thing gold, of course, and it didn’t look half bad, but a steel wool afro on the Christ-child still somehow strikes me as a little irreverent.

  14. I just love your child! If you ever need an antique sitter— just call me. I arrived in Florida for the nexgt five months or so and Ohio has an ice storm tonight. Call me luckey! This picture is precious!

  15. Wonderful story. I had to smile because. Just because. I, too, love super glue. It fixes a world of wrongs, doesnt’ it? Everything in this house is dabbed someplace with it. My husband is a master with it. Tedious work, being married to me.

  16. Oh, sweet AM. I am still laughing. I’m so sorry about Jesus. Your little sweetie sounds so solemn, I can picture him, “Mama? Are you unhappy?”

  17. Don’t feel too badly; I dropped my wedding cake topper (a lovely porcelain bride and groom) a few days before I got married, and the groom’s head came clean off…oops. I broke my fiance!! We used super glue and no one was the wiser. 🙂

  18. That’s a great story and a beautiful nativity set.

    When I was a kid, it was always a big deal to put the nativity set out. It was an old-school plastic day-glo KMart set. I always wanted to put the finishing touch on the display, so more than once I hid the baby Jesus in the coat closet so no one else could have him.

  19. THIS is why I want one of the Willow-Tree Nativity Sets (unbreakable!), but they are soooooo expensive. I even checked at Family Christian last year before AND after Christmas to see if they go on clearance — and they never do! *sigh*

  20. I could actually picture the whole event in my head as I read about it. A priceless story, indeed. I have been able to enjoy watching my young ones arrange the characters in their “toy” nativity set. It’s hilarious to see what everyone is doing from one day to the next. It’s like a soap opera. They watch and admire the baby Jesus, but they also travel, go shopping, and everyone takes turns being the line leader as they line up to go to their next activity. It’s so entertaining.

  21. My parents and siblings love to tell about when I was little and I put the baby Jesus from our nativity set on the record player and gave him a ride saying, “Go Jeez, Go!”
    I guess the fact that we had a record player might give away my age!!

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