The Artsy Craftsy Christmas Creche
Originally posted 19 Dec 2010
Across the street from our house lived Mamie Schleeter, the mother of Merle's best friend since childhood. She was like a second mother to him, and her hobby was ceramics. Mamie was exceptionally talented and sold a fair number of her ceramic pieces. So one year Mom and Merle ordered a complete nativity set with gold trim. Merle was very handy (a much more important trait for a husband than wealthy) and I am sure envisioned making a nice standard wood creche for the figures. He should have known better.
And so it was. She cleaned that stump and covered the top of the television with a layer of the roll out cotton snow, arranged the figures in the spaces formed by the roots, and sprayed aerosol snow over the top. She then fixed an over-sized angel and star at the top surrounded with evergreen boughs which hid the fact that the angel was out of scale. Televisions in those days were big, boxy freestanding pieces of furniture that were the main focus of the room, so it was a perfect location. It could hold the weight of the stump.
This was our nativity setting for many years. So many, in fact, that my younger brother thought it was a piece of driftwood, because the bark had worn off. Really??? We lived in central Indiana and never went on vacation. Where would we get driftwood that large? The years have passed, and my brother is now the official keeper of the nativity set, but he has the figures in the more traditional setting imagined by Merle originally.
Personal note: This post was completely written and ready to post when an amazing, some might say providential, event occurred. I was re-reading the text and adding the photos, when, as I was searching for photos and cropping the new ones sent by my brother, I noticed a curious looking thumbnail. Could it really be?? I quickly closed the select window so I could open the thumbnail in question to see it more closely. It was, it really was . . . It was an old fuzzy photo of the original stump on our television! I