Nativity Players by Rebecca Sicree

Nativity Players

Rebecca Sicree on the New Adventures of the Baby Jesus

Baby Jesus has had adventures that I never imagined. I learned some of them from my son John last Christmas. “I was telling Helena about Baby Jesus,” he informed me. John was four, and his sister Helena was three.

“There were two animals with him,” John went on. An ox and an ass, I thought fondly, or perhaps a lamb and a dove.

With ten children, I should have known better.

“They were a fox and a bear. They wanted to eat Baby Jesus,” John continued, “but Superman saved him. Then Santa Claus came and gave Baby Jesus presents.” John paused. “There was a lot of other stuff, but I forgot it.”

An Action-Packed Thriller

Seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child doesn’t always show you what you expect. Adults sometimes confuse how they think of children with how children actually think. Just because we see children as sweet and innocent does not mean that children see the world that way. Even the story of sweet and innocent Baby Jesus.

My own children, for example, see the Christmas story as an action-packed thriller. This became obvious the December they had eight parts in three pageants at our parish. This was no mean feat, I assure you, especially since we only had seven children at the time. But my children were not exhausted at all. Instead they were inspired.

Apparently three pageants were not enough.

Large families, of course, can put on Christmas pageants without any outside help. I myself did not realize this until I noticed the Blessed Virgin Mary, swathed in baby blankets, riding a donkey through my living room. (I assume it was a donkey; it may possibly have been a camel. I do not know which because the gentle beast, played by a four-foot-high stuffed Brontosaurus, had no speaking part.)

The pageant then skipped to the action, the Flight into Egypt, which quickly became a high-speed chase.


Rebecca Sicree writes from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. She and her family attend Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in nearby State College. She and her husband Andrew have ten children, six of whom are now adults.

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more on Christmas from the online archives

31.6—November/December 2018

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