Friday, January 05, 2007

Eleventh Day of Christmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
A new (on sale) Nativity.

The Nativity set I had admired for much of December 2006 was on sale at 40% off. As there were a couple days of Christmas left (ending on Epiphany, January 6th), Lucia and I arranged the set on the hutch with the Magi traveling one shelf above the creche.

If you're wondering why the Magi are traveling with a giraffe and a zebra, it's probably because the folk-art creators, Maurice and Kelly Dallas, mainly craft Noah's Ark sets. Follow the link to see some of their more intricate designs (and no, our on-sale Nativity set was not originally hundreds of dollars as the link might indicate).

Tomorrow, the House of Glee is having a Three Kings' Day party with a few friends. This is the first time since college since I've organized any such venture. Traditionally, the baker puts a bean into the cake batter and whomever gets the coin is the king/queen of Three Kings Day.* In Louisiana, a tiny plastic baby takes the place of the coin and whomever gets the plastic baby has to throw the next party. All these years I never took seriously the possibility of someone breaking teeth or choking on the various objects** I dropped into the batter, but now that I have a child, I'm Ms. Safety Woman. I shall bake a hazelnut into the cake to prevent the former and make sure everyone mashes the cake to bits before eating in order to prevent the latter. We have some Christmas crackers we forgot to bring out on December 25th, so we'll distribute the crackers at the party. As each cracker comes with a paper crown (in addition to the corny joke and the prize), it seems appropriate that we ended up saving the crackers for Three Kings Day.

Adoration of the Girlie

Adoration of the Playmobil dollies

*While the Biblical passages do not state how many Magi/Wise Folk/Kings actually traveled to visit Jesus, tradition holds that there were three Magi, and their names were Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. I honor the tradition.

**For example, a ring symbolized who'd get married next and a coin symbolized who'd come into great wealth.


Nonny said...

Even though I'm a heathen I can still admire your Nativity. We always had one growing up, so it does hold some fond memories. Glad to see the playmobile friends were able to pay their respects.

Your party sounds fun. It reminded me of this wedding I was in many, many years ago. The cake had as many layers as there were bridesmaids (twelve in all-the wedding was beyond over-the-top) and there was a ribbon hanging out of each layer. We all pulled a ribbon and on the end of each one was a gold charm! Needless to say I thought this was a very cool idea. I got the 4 leaf clover.

galetea said...

We had charms baked into the top tier of our wedding cake for my attendants to pull out on little ribbons. Sure enough, the one who got the little tiny ring was the next to be married! :)

Over here in England, there is a quaint tradition of Twelfth Night parties. Although I've never been to one myself, my enthusiam for actually THROWING on is quite high. However, I'm not entirely sure what goes ON at a Twelfth Night party so I'll have to do a bit of research to prevent a houseful of mildly intoxicated people from throwing my Christmas tree out the window.

limpy99 said...

Yesterday I walked by a Lutheran Church with a Nativity display still up and running. I took a closer look and noticed that while Mary and Joseph were both as white as could be, the baby Jesus seemed to be black.

If I were Joseph I might have started questioning that whole "Immaculate Conception" angle at that point.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Limpy99: I think that's awesome that a Nativity display would have a white Mary and Joseph and an African-American baby Jesus! It drives home the point that, while Joseph wasn't the biological father, he was every bit the nurturing adoptive father.

Galetea: Eating cake and wearing crowns is what I know about Twelfth Night parties. I'd like to go to someone else's to see what it's like. The charms pulled out of the cake is great. Maybe I'll try that next year.

Nonny: Hey, heathen.:) You remind that, while I'm mostly okay with not having ever been a bridesmaid, I missed out on some fun. I admit that there is part of me that would like to wear a poofy dress and hold the bride's train. I'm guessing your gown had a bit more slink. That's wild that there were 12 bridesmaids. Do you still have your clover charm?

Lone Star Ma said...

How wonderful! If I were rich, I might collect cool nativity scenes - they are a favorite of mine.

The LSB came home from school today with a bag of goodies for Reyes Magos.

The girly's hair grew long!

Melangell said...

I recently met a couple, neither of whom came from a religious family, but for some reason they found expression for their spiritual wonder and delight in collecting tiny nativity scenes from around the world. Of course it didn't hurt that they actually TRAVEL around the world. The little sets are so charming!!!

In my recent move I gave away the mega-big nativity set my father made to my sister-in-law, who grew up without one. In its place I have a motly nativity scene. Like the Lutheran one, Baby Jesus is a little black dolly in a cardboard manger. BVM is a Russian stacking doll who lost all her sisters along the way - this makes up for her grief and loneliness. Alas, there is yet no Joseph. The shepherds are represented by a little Appalachian cornhusk dolly, and the three wooden Chinese scholars that my step-mother-in-law had no idea what to do with, well, they are perfect Magi from the East! I have a brass camel and a few sheep in radically different sizes, a cat and a pigeon who are also adoring at the manger. I will be on the lookout for more lonely characters who need a home.

As for Three Kings' Cake, I am right now cooking my mother's recipe for sauce for a date pudding (this will be for the Christmas pudding I just received in the mail.) 1 cup sugar, 1 cup cream, 1/3 cup butter, a dash of vanilla. Auntie Bridgit loves this sauce!