Many years ago my sister-in-law, Sandra, gave me this sweet little nativity set. I’ve been setting it up every Christmas for probably fifteen years or so. And this is the first year that Carter, who is now ten, has left it alone.


In the beginning, it was just baby mischief. This is a really tiny nativity set, and it was pretty tempting for little fingers. For several years I had to set it up on a high surface, where he couldn’t reach it.

Then, it was little boy mischief. I’d walk by the nativity scene and see Mary hiding behind a candle, or baby Jesus riding on a camel, or the shepherds standing on their heads. I never said anything to the boy; I’d just rearrange the scene and wait to see what happened next.

But this year, there has been no mischief at all. And I have to say, it’s made me a little sad.