Someone (who shall remain nameless) gifted me with this lovely nativity set after the holidays last year.
Now, my first thought upon seeing these figurines was, How is it that Mary always looks so placid and refreshed? I mean, the woman just gave birth - in a barn. To GOD. I've seen women who've just delivered a regular, everyday human baby in a warm, comfortable hospital, and they don't look that serene. Unless the Demerol hasn't worn off yet.
Anyway. My second thought was, Wasn't Jesus Jewish? Maybe his family was from northern Israel. Far northern Israel. Back when it bordered Scandinavia.
Then I got to thinking about how Christmas would be different had Jesus been born in Norway.
- Mary would have been riding a reindeer instead of a donkey.
- The shepherds would have found the Babe lying in a manger, wrapped in swaddling furs.
- The wise men would have brought gold, frankincense, and firewood.
- Silent Night would have a line, "Silent night, holy night, all is cold, all is white."
- Nativity sets would come packaged with little fake snow drifts to place against the stable, and Joseph would be wearing snow shoes.
- Jesus would have been named something like "Bjørn."
- We'd be singing "O, Little Town of Brønnøysund."
Then my mental list was interrupted by the intrusion of my third thought. (I know. You're thinking, thank God for that. Me too.) I realized that this holy family looked vaguely familiar. Then it hit me.