Many Trails
Dec. 6, 2012
by Adrien Taylor
Dec 06, 2012 | 1302 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I spent part of Tuesday this week getting out the nativity set that has graced the window at The Times-Independent for many years now. I should first reiterate that I have been collecting nativity sets for a good long time. Finally, I decided that enough was enough, particularly since many of these sets haven’t seen the light of day, or should I say the light of the Christmas season, for longer than I care to admit.

The nativity scene that started this all out was purchased either at Miller’s Supermarket or Miller’s Clothing way back when the kids were little. It featured the traditional manger scene, plus three angels that revolved atop a music box that was wound by hand. With three little boys in the house, that music box and its attendant angels were doomed. Death by overwinding.

Such was its fate. But I think it still resides in a box somewhere in the little Christmas room (originally planned for a tack room, but, oh well) in the garage.

In that same little room, and also in the back of the coat closet, there reside a number of other Christmas scenes of the nativity. Incidentally, here is a Christmas factoid you may or may not find useful: the tableau can only be called a creche if it includes a manger.

In addition to those in the room in the garage and the coat closet, there are many other little nativity sets that I keep out year-round. They make me smile.

So, as I wrote above, enough had become enough, and I just looked. That is until I discovered the sculptures produced by Genesis studio in Ireland. The first sculpture I bought was of the Children of (King) Lir. It features, following the details of the story, the sons of the king being turned into swans by (who else but) their wicked stepmother.

The Children of Lir is a tale I have become quite fond of but it is little known here in the U.S. One of the Hans Christian Anderson stories follows this story line, and I am quite sure they come from the same root. But I digress.

I was able to purchase the Children of Lir sculpture through Genesis’ website. Their website also showed nativity scenes and other holiday decorations.

While in Ireland this summer, I came upon a shop which carried the Genesis line, and I brought home with me the three kings, sending for the rest of the set later. I also found a silver pendant and a pin featuring the children of Lir in Ireland, and these also came home with me.

Several of my nativity sets have gone to live in other places, but several, including the new Genesis set, are here at home.

The one at the office (indeed each one) has its own special story.

Many years ago, son Jed was a resident at the then State Training School in American Fork. One of the projects of the residents there was applying finish to greenware, and this is where I discovered the large set you can see through the season in The Times’ front window. I think the whole shebang cost about $25 at the time.

Of course, when you start collecting something, people start giving them to you. Thus it was that Sam’s sister Miriam presented me with what was termed the world’s smallest nativity. This whole set sits on a three-inch diameter disk and has a glass dome over it. (Still didn’t prevent tarnish.)

I have one scene made of ironwood from Africa. I have one in an eggshell from Central America. Two from Santa Clara Pueblo, one from Jemez Pueblo. I could go on and on. Suffice to say that these sets make up the main pieces of attention in my home.

As I said, they make me smile. I hope you are smiling, too.

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