Well, I’m still sharing my nativities, and I still have more to share! So far, I’ve shared 14 in 8 days. Gonna have to pick up the pace to make it through my collection before I run out of December days! Today, I’ll start with the promised one…my Crude Creche (a.k.a., Joyous Nativity) but let me give you some back story.

Every Fall, War Eagle, Arkansas (and surrounding areas) host a humongous craft show. There are venues for miles – in Rogers, Bentonville, Bella Vista, Springdale, War Eagle, and beyond. For several years, some of my gal pals and I went there for days of frenzied and fun shopping – both inside and outside. My friend Kay was always the instigator of such trips (Thanks, Kay!). She’s gone for the past 20-some years I believe, and usually shares her trip with whoever wants to come along. Together, we rent a condo, bring snacks to share, visit great restaurants each evening, and a great little diner – Duffers – every morning for breakfast. We have Show and Tell every evening once we’re back from a busy day, sharing our finds with each other, then there’s always time for a game or two (or twenty) of Pitch! Kay’s taught many ‘newbies’ (myself included) that card game. Whether four or fourteen of us go, we always have a grand time, and can’t wait until the next time! Kay knows her way around after so many trips, and we pack so much into our days. She’s a hyper-motivated, super-organized chauffeur/chaperone on these trips suggesting we bring only the essentials as far as luggage, but insisting we bring two totes, each marked with our names, in which we collect our treasures as we shop!

Never a dull moment! Such great memories.

On one of our planned side trips, while gallivanting through shops in nearby Siloam Springs, I spotted a creche. Imagine that! It seemed to scream to me, “Take me home!” So, never one to disappoint a screaming creche, I just had to buy it! Right? Especially since the retail price tag on the bottom showed $75.99, but the flea market tag showed $15. Yes, that’s MY kind of FIND. Always the bargain shopper here!

Now…mind you…this piece (4-piece set) is handcrafted, and SIGNED! I loved that, too. Cindy Burden quotes Luke 2:10 on the sticker: “…behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” and calls her piece, Joyous Nativity. For perspective, this creche is about 9″ tall at the highest, and it’s one heavy creche! I haven’t researched the creator, but I’m guessing it’s sculpted of clay. Very heavy. Very dense. Very earthy tones. Very rough and rugged edges. This is no satiny, smooth, shiny creche. This is a CRUDE one, for sure. Crude, but Joyous! I refer to it as my Crude Creche, but mean absolutely no disrespect to the artist! Crude is a good thing.

It wasn’t ONLY the price that convinced me to buy this creche; it was that face! The face of Mary, mother of Jesus!

I have no idea how anyone could capture so many attributes in that face! Kudos to Cindy Burden! Can’t you just feel the warmth of love portrayed by the mother of Jesus? The heart-felt wonder captured in clay and displayed on her face? Peace. Contentment. Joy (yes, Joy!). I think the one word that fits splendidly is ADORATION! I love the many faces of Mary, captured in this piece. The crude-ness (is that even a word) contrasts so dramatically with the warmth of love that exudes from hardened clay!

And, look at Joseph’s face. Now, it IS a bit more crude than Mary’s – true – but that look! Awe. Wonder. Joy.

So much to come in their future lives now that there are three. So many unexpected moments, days, years. So many hardships and struggles and questions and answers. They’ll soon outrun a wicked king, intent on killing this babe. Later, they’ll learn so much from one little son; the Son of God, in the crude manger before them.

I love this creche. I love this creche. I love this creche.

More tomorrow!




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