From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Deck the Halls

Unpacking the ornaments of the season


The Christmas tree is decorated. (Thanks, Keely, Taurus, and Isaac!) It's a new, smaller tree, and the old, larger tree has gone to Keely's house.

At the stores, I've been seeing themed trees -- woodland, gingerbread, jewels and sparkles, etc. If our cheery little tree has any theme at all, it must be "nostalgia."

The Christmas village is on the mantle, and the Santa Clauses have rendezvoused on the old steamer trunk in the hallway. The nativity scene is in its place of honor, atop the china cabinet.

One Christmas curiosity I always enjoy getting out is a very gaudy Peruvian nativity retablo that we were given when we lived in Bolivia. It was made for tourists, and it isn't valuable, but I like it.

The little box is white, outlined with red, on the outside. Under a triangular peak, giant purple flowers adorn the doors. The doors open to reveal a nativity scene, with a Peruvian point of view.

Mary and Joseph kneel, watching over Baby Jesus in the manger. In the foreground, a little boy and girl in Andean costume play the flute and drum. Below the manger, two dogs rest. (Or maybe it's a cow and a donkey -- it's hard to tell!)

 On the back wall of the box, golden clouds and stars dance across a black sky, and above all, the brilliant  star of Bethlehem shines.

The little retablo is a good reminder that the Christ Child and Christmas belong to all the world, not just to people who look and talk like me.

2 comments:

Avilio Jimenez said...

That's true... even that a retablo is a way for the artist to express what he feels, the main meaning of it is the birth of Jesus... and a Retablo is a way to express it. I do some similar work and I can understand it.

This miracle that happened in the past is trying to show in their different ways the same thing.

Is time to enjoy with the family as is depict in a nativity scene.

Genevieve said...

Thanks for your comment. I enjoyed looking at the retablos you make. You are very talented.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.