It’s that time of year again. On Saturday morning, I found a note on the stairs. “Working on lego crèche. DO NOT DISTURB” it said. This is the 3rd year that Abel has graced our house with his own version of a nativity scene, made out of legos.

Our lego crèches always include Roman patrols, which I feel is at least as realistic as one camel, one donkey and one sheep looking at a manger without having to be held back from the straw. An overcrowded Bethlehem packed with census takers would certainly have had some soldiers passing through, armed to the teeth and looking for trouble makers.

This year, Mary is reprising her outfit from last year, with just a few new touches. Makes sense in these economically troubled times. Joseph, as a typical male, has not changed.

Baby Jesus continues to be legless, but this year, he’s smiling and content and possibly even cooing. A far cry (HA!) from last year’s scowl.

(Aside: look at how dust-begrimed the green base is. You can tell it spent time in Mauritania. That’s what happens to all your things in that desert nation. I wonder if I could run it through the dishwasher? I wonder if I will bother?)

Bethleham’s main inn has really expanded this year, adding an extra story and an extra two rooms out back, complete with staircase.

The inn really is full though, as you can see…

Out front, the innkeeper is keeping the grounds as free from dust as possible…

He’s got his work cut out for him.

The inn also has a new sign. Given that much of its clientale isn’t literate, it’s just a picture.

It’s a lovely creche. This year we have 3 nativities–an origami one, made by a friend in Mauritania, a Peanuts one (already much beloved), which was a lovely surprise sent by Tonggu Mom, and this year’s lego version. I think last year’s version, with wise men AND the wicked King Herod, might have been my favorite, but I’ll never forget the original Mary (not to mention Ilsa’s attempt to match with her toffee infant) from 2008–she’ll always have a special place in my heart.

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