Yesterday I found myself helping out at a Living Nativity. I'd never been to one before but Jennifer, who runs the local riding stables, the wonderful Windsong Farm
needed volunteers to help load up three horses, two chickens, a Basset cross called Daphne and a lamb, along with assorted saddles, bridles, decorations, halters and hay to get to the Nativity site. The donkeys, including last year's baby, Whimsy,
had gone on ahead. Another farm had provided some goats. In the absence of camels in this neck of the woods, the gallant steeds, Digger, Merlin and Halo, were to carry the three Wise Men.
Undaunted by a slight hiccup, in the shape of a flat tyre on the trailer - well the Wise Men were meant to be late to the party weren't they? - we reached Bethlehem, aka the field behind the Wawa garage, where shepherds were sitting around a smoking, sparking fire pit and Mary and Joseph proudly displayed the Baby Jesus.
Who was blissfully soaking up the atmosphere.
The spectacle was organised by the First Baptist Church, which also provided the costumes.
The horses were old hands at this game, having done it a few times before...
...lights and all....
plus, (take my word for it) a poinsettia boutonniere atop one's tail. Been there, done that.(Just don't tell them they're supposed to be camels)
Faith the lamb, in a natty red jumper, wasn't old enough to have been around last year but acted like a true professional.
Just had a tummy-tickling ball.
All change for the Wise Men, who let someone smaller have a turn.
Meanwhile, it being a bit of a cool and windy night, ladies served up some slightly un-Biblical, if welcome, hot chocolate, topped with the requisite deliciously melting mini marshmallows. If you weren't there, what a pity. You missed a little slice of the real spirit of Christmas.
And a Merry/Happy Christmas to all friends here and back across the pond!