It’s Advent, a quiet season that I love. And I’m determined to create something — something special to get into the spirit of preparing for Christmas.
“I’m making a creche!” I proudly declared.
“A creche?” my good man asked.
“Hm-hmm,” I said, eyeing the Christmas decorations. “I must be able to find some stuff around here.”
I was so proud of my creation, I sent pictures to the family.
“Er… Mum.” Younger daughter was the first to phone. “What’s that?”
“It’s a creche,” I cheerfully replied.
“Aren’t you supposed to have just one baby in the creche?” she asked.
“Yes. But Jesus was middle-eastern and I couldn’t find any middle-eastern-looking babies in my decorations, so I used the two little brown babies. They are representing Jesus.”
“What did you use for a blanket, Mum?”
“I used kleenex. Folded.”
“Kleenex.” I think I heard her sigh. “And why do you have bears by the side of the manger? The story calls for three wise men, but you have 6 bears.”
“I do not!”
“Go and check. I’m telling you, those are bears.”
I checked. Those are bears.
“They’re wise bears!” I said, brightening up. “Six wise bears!”
“And is that Santa in the corner?” she accused. “There was no Santa in the Bible story!”
“Okay. You’re right. But did you like the two golden angels with the trumpets?”
“They’re okay… I guess. But why’s there a penguin? They don’t have penguins in the middle east.”
This had turned into an inquisition. But I knew what I knew.
“There’s no penguin,” I insisted, on firm ground at last.
“I’ll wait while you go check, Mum. There’s a penguin in your creche.”
I checked. There was a penguin. A tiny one, lower left.
“And is that a lamb? That’s kinda big for a lamb.”
“Okay, alright,” I said. “But did you like the creche at least?”
“Oh, mum. You really are very special.”
And if you think that conversation is bad, just wait till the older daughter calls.
I’m sure it’s the thought that counts.
But everybody’s a bloomin’ critic.