We have a nativity set that I bought last year. Paid retail. And paid too much at that. It's one of those Little People Nativity sets and the first time I saw it, I wanted it for the girls. Price searching, I remembered that nothing for Christmas is on sale before Christmas.
But I wanted it. So I bought it. And paid retail.
Because I paid retail and because I knew how much more fun it would be to have all the parts of the nativity (because there are a lot of parts), I was a bit of a... uh... brat about where the nativity could be set up and where the pieces were allowed to wander to. The manger, Baby Jesus, those wise men, Mary, and Joseph were all on a silver tray (because that's how I roll) on top of the piano. LMC had a stool set up beside it where she could step up and play with the little people.
While a brat about where the nativity was, I didn't care how she played with it- as long as all the pieces stayed in the living room. Mary liked to slide down a piece of scrap wood and Joseph had fun climbing through the mountain of presents. The sheep played the piano. Somehow, in our house- the living room is about the only room where the kids can play and not break something.
The same cannot be said for my parent's house.
This year, Bennie has her feet beneath her and an attitude about her. You cannot tell her no. Actually, you can tell her NO all day long, but she just looks at you as if this "no" word" were Japanese. Or, better still- "no" doesn't mean "no" but it means "Yes, please. Keep on destroying [insert object here]. I love it, really I love it when you do that."
Our precious little nativity set that was cared for and loved by LMC so much last year has slowly migrated out of the living room... and into every crevice of the house. Recently, I have heard myself talking to my children about the nativity set:
"LMC, don't kick Baby Jesus."
"Bennie, please get the camel out of your mouth."
"Bennie, where did you put the sheep?"
"LMC, stop kicking Baby Jesus. Would you like to be kicked?"
"Bennie, honestly. Quit throwing Mary. She doesn't like it."
"LMC, Baby Jesus does not want to be kicked. He's the Son of God. Do you think that's wise? He decides who gets into Heaven."
"Bennie, Joseph is not a snack. Get him out of your mouth."
"LMC, thank you for not kicking Baby Jesus. But, please don't throw him at your sister."
"Y'all- where's the manger? Don't you think it'll be cold without it?"
"Yes, LMC, since the sheep is gone we can pretend your 'My Little Pony' is a sheep. That'll be great."
"That's the angel Gabriel. He came to tell Mary that she is with child." ---- "Where do babies come from? Good question- Jesus came from God to Mary." ---- "Gabriel was a messenger from God." ---- "I don't know how he knew, perhaps he saw the pregnancy test before Mary."