How Jesus Was Stolen & Other Christmas Tales


Last night Jesus disappeared.

While eight heads were lying on eight pillows, four feet padded down the hallway towards him. In an instant, in the quiet of Christmas night, Jesus was abducted.

I slept on, oblivious to the danger. I must have been tired. I didn’t even hear the cry of triumph, the presenting of the gift.

When I got up this morning, Mary’s arms were empty. “Baby Jesus has been stolen!” I shouted to the girls. “Keep a look out for him.”

I should have known Jesus would be missing. You see, he’s soft and round, just like the two nativity sheep. They also know what it’s like to be carried away from the stable. During Advent, I awoke a number of times in the middle of the night, to the sound of persistent meows. Our cat had dropped her woolly gift outside my bedroom door and was crying, “Look what I’ve caught for you!” I got fed up with this nightly interruption so I hid the sheep in a drawer. I put an end to the cat’s game. But on Christmas Night she discovered Jesus…


Our baby Jesus has a tiny stuffed pale pink felt head. His body is a soft folded white tissue. He was made in a matter of minutes, unlike the Jesus who lies in our church manger.

Our parish church has a beautiful nativity scene. Mary, Joseph, a shepherd, the Three Wise Men and various animals, together with baby Jesus, were imported from Italy. They were made by skilled craftsmen. The statues are exquisite in their beauty. I think however they got one detail wrong.

“Baby Jesus has rather a lot of hair for a newborn baby,” observed Gemma-Rose on Christmas Eve. 

She is right. Why doesn’t Jesus have a tiny wrinkled face with eyes which gaze myopically up at Mary and Joseph? Why doesn’t he have a wisp of hair on his head instead of long thick golden curls? Why does he look so old? This is, of course, not an isolated mistake. Have you noticed how artists often trade the precious beauty of a newborn baby for the prettiness of an older child?


But newborn or not, our hearts were certainly filled with the love of Jesus as we celebrated His birth at Midnight Mass. We arrived home during an early hour of Christmas Day, filled with joy and tiredness.

There was no danger our arrival would send Santa into a panic. He didn’t have to toss our gifts hastily under the Christmas tree, before struggling back up our chimney, as soon as he heard us coming through the front door at 1 am. For a start, we don’t have a chimney. More importantly, Santa isn’t real. 
Or is he?

Many years ago, when Charlotte was very young, she said, “I know where Santa lives.”

“Oh?” I replied. “Where?” I rather expected my daughter to say, “The North Pole,” but she didn’t.

“He lives at the monastery.”

“The monastery?” I was perplexed for a short while, and then I smiled. “Father G isn’t Santa!”

Now it was Charlotte’s turn to look perplexed. “But he has a long white beard…”

Yes, if Father G were to dress in a red suit, he would indeed look exactly like Santa. And he sounds like Santa too: all friendly and caring and loving. He listens carefully. And his empathy ensures his line for confession is always as long as a line of children, waiting to tell Santa they’ve been good.

For many years, we’ve retold the story of how Charlotte thought Fr G was Santa, and we’ve giggled a bit too. Then a few months ago, I suddenly realised she was right. Charlotte hadn’t made a mistake at all.
Fr G is Santa.

Every priest is Santa. They bring us the greatest Christmas gift we could ever imagine. It’s not one of those gifts which start to fade, as soon as the wrappings are removed. No, this gift is priceless. It endures forever. They bring us Jesus. And all because of Christmas Day.


How was your Christmas Day? I hope it was full of joy and love and special moments. Ours was. I must admit mine also contained a little moment of pain.

Sophie gave me a gorgeous pair of earrings as one of her gifts. They are silver and dangly and very pretty. There was only one problem: I hadn’t worn earrings for a very long time. Would I be able to find the holes in my earlobes? You won’t want to hear all the gory details. I shall just report what Sophie said later:

“Mum! You’re wearing my earrings. You look so pretty!”

I’ve made an early New Year’s resolution. I’m going to avoid unnecessary pain, especially the variety that involves holes, poky wires and lots of prodding and pushing. I’m going to continue wearing earrings. 


Yes, we’ll be heading into a new year in a few days’ time. I’m planning on sharing our resource discoveries of the last year in a podcast/ blog post. (Will you listen or read?) I’m going to do that very soon. But not today. 

Today, I’m going to close my computer and pick up a book, and a glass of red wine, and maybe a chocolate or two. I’m going to smile at my family, maybe share a few hugs and whisper, “Thank you!” 

I have been truly blessed. I hope you have been blessed too.

Oh yes, and I’m going to search for baby Jesus!


These are a few of our Christmas photos. Can you see something cool about the one of Andy and Callum?


Happy Christmas!


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Comments

  1. Reply

    It sounds like you had a beautiful day! Please thank Gemma-Rose for adding to the delight of our Christmas tree with her handmade ornaments, they were very much appreciated.
    Re: earrings – been there, done that (ouch!) It's funny that if I leave my earrings out for a few days the holes start to close, however the 20+ year old holes occupying the rest of my lobes that I would dearly love to go away just will not. I got them pierced multiple times when I was young and silly.
    The first thing I noticed about the photo with Andy and Callum was the distorted reflection 🙂
    It's so nice to see pretty young ladies in stylish and beautiful dresses.
    Merry Christmas and God bless you all!

    1. Reply

      Kelly,

      Gemma-Rose was equally delighted with her owl. It is beautiful! Thank you so much to Gemma.

      I've got just one set of extra earring holes which I never use. (One set is more than enough trouble!) The holes aren't very visible so I've been lucky. Yes, we do some strange and regrettable things when we are young! I'm just grateful tattoos weren't that fashionable when I was a younger person. Extra earring holes are nothing compared to an unwanted tattoo!

      I saw a beautiful picture of your daughter in a very stylish dress on your Facebook page, and that dress was handmade (unlike my girls' dresses). You are very talented, Kelly. And your daughter is beautiful.

      It's lovely to have the opportunity to wish you a Happy Christmas. Isn't it wonderful that we still have lots more Christmas to enjoy?

  2. Reply

    What an enjoyable Christmas visit with your family, as I relax on the 26th under a cool blue sky. Blue is a color we'd almost forgotten in this part of the USA, at least when applied to sky.

    I never had my ears pierced. Ever. Imagine that, at my age (which is older than your age but I'm not telling by how much!)!! I just wear clip ons from time to time.

    And for the nine-hundredth time, I'll say – you come up with the most intriguing post titles of anyone I know!

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Reply

      Nancy,

      It's not snowing where you are? I was imagining you enjoying a white Christmas. But blue sky is good too! Our Christmas sky was actually grey. It rained rather heavily on Christmas Day.

      Clip on earrings have always sounded a bit painful to me. Don't they have to pinch the earlobe hard to stay on? I know piercing isn't pain free either. The things we do to make ourselves look beautiful!

      I wonder what is more important: the post or the title? Readers might be drawn in by the title, read to the end to see what it all means. By that time the post has been read, regardless of whether it is good or not! I must admit I like composing titles. I'm glad you enjoy reading them.

      Merry Christmas to you too!

    • Chris
    • December 26, 2014
    Reply

    LOVE! Thx so much for sharing your Christmas with great photos and commentary! Your fam just looks SO .fun and warm and giving!!!! Love the Callum/Andy shot…..the reflection! Pretty cool.

    Dresses on teh girls, Sue? Gorgeous. I can see they love a good dress up day! That's one thing, while I love being a boy-Mom, that I miss about not having girls! Esp at this time of year and Easter….!! The white patent leather shoes, the dresses, the bows,,,,,pretty.

    I must blog our Christmas…it's been a week since I've written and there's so much to say and record. Hopefully, this weekend!

    Loving the updates…xoxoxoMerry Christmas to you and all the Elvises!

    1. Reply

      Chris,

      I was so surprised to see the reflection in the microwave when I looked at the photo of Andy and Callum. I hadn't noticed it when I took the photo. A happy accident!

      Oh yes, it's a lot of fun dressing up girls, even when they get to be as big as mine. We all love a good dress-up day. We make suggestions about outfits, borrow each other's clothes and jewellery, the girls do each other's hair… For Christmas Gemma-Rose was given a tool that puts beads into hair. That's the new hairstyle of the moment!

      I'm looking forward to hearing all the details of your Christmas and sharing your photos. I hope you're having a wonderful time with your men.

      I'm so glad you stopped by today, Chris. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas to you and your family! xxx

      • Chris
      • December 27, 2014
      Reply

      xoxox
      That hair gadget sounds awesome!

      Take care Sue!!

    2. Reply

      Chris,

      The girls have been having fun beading their hair. Yesterday, I posted a photo on FB of the girls wearing new Christmas princess T shirts. They had a few beads in their hair too! I hope you're enjoying the Christmas season. xx

  3. What a lovely story, Sue. I liked looking at your photos, too (I was pleased to find one of you!).

    I had a similar experience with earrings last Christmas. My mum bought me a lovely pair but it took quite some time to get them through my ears. Once I had got them through the first time, dipping them in Vaseline before putting them on each time helped. And now I'm very much enjoying wearing earrings all the time!

    I hope Jesus turns up soon!

    1. Reply

      Lucinda,

      I didn't make it into many Christmas photos. I was the person behind the camera taking the photos! But I insisted on having a picture of Gemma-Rose's present. Do you like the painted salt dough mobile she made for me? I think it's rather special.

      Thank you so much for the tip about the Vaseline. I'd never have thought of that. I am wearing earrings for the second day in a row! My ears are slightly tender but not too bad considering the amount of time it had been since I last wore earrings. It's funny how other people can relate to this story!

      I am happy to report Jesus has been found! He is back in Mary's arms where he belongs.

      I hope you're enjoying Christmas with your family. I look forward to seeing your own Christmas photos. This reminds me: How are you getting on with your new camera?

  4. Reply

    What a beautiful post and photos.Thank you for checking in with me! My blog is down because I've changed my email and I'm moving it over (with a new blog name as well). This year I've really been blessed with wonderful blogging friends and I'm so glad we've met. 🙂 I just subscribed with my new account so we can stay in touch. Hope you have a lovely evening!

    1. Reply

      Latrecia,

      I am so pleased to hear from you and find out everything is okay with you and your blog. Thank you so much for stopping by to tell me what's been happening. With all my own recent blogging problems, the first thought I had was, "Oh no! Latrecia has deleted her blog!" I am glad I was wrong. I'll be over to visit your new look blog as soon as it is all set up.

      I'm also glad we met. I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas. Thank you so much for reading my post!

    • San
    • December 27, 2014
    Reply

    Lovely post Sue and Happy Christnas to you all!

    I am always happy to read but your podcasts are a real treat for me, so that would be much appreciated xx

    1. Reply

      San,

      Your comment has really encouraged me to continue podcasting. Thank you! I know my podcasts aren't very professional but I'm hoping to get better with practice. I have a few ideas for this year's shows. As I'm recording them, I shall imagine you listening, all the way over on the other side of the world!

      Happy Christmas to you and your family! xx

  5. Reply

    Love it! And your children are all so darned good looking! What a lovely and fun bunch. Plus they have such an amazing mother. Don't you contend that! It's the truth and you are just going to have to deal with it!! 🙂

    1. Reply

      Virginia Sue,

      I suspect you are good at recognising good looking children because you have a few of your own! Of course all children are beautiful but they do look extra good when they are polished up and wearing their best clothes! Thank you so much for your kind Christmas comment. I hope you're having an equally fun time with your family. xx

  6. Reply

    I love the mobile Gemma-Rose made you, it is wonderful and so special to receive something made by someone you love. Was the apron hand made also? – It too is gorgeous.
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful 2015!

    1. Reply

      Claire,

      Homemade gifts are definitely the best! All the girls had a lot of fun making presents for everyone. It does look like Sophie is holding up an apron. It is actually a 'sag': a bag made from a pair of shorts! Imogen and Charlotte designed and made sags for the younger girls. They wanted to make bags big enough to hold their music and also their computers. Gemma-Rose and Sophie were delighted with them.

      Happy New Year to you and your family. I look forward to sharing another year of blogging with you!

    • Wendy
    • December 29, 2014
    Reply

    Merry Christmas, Sue! I also love having daughters and pretty dresses!

    I had to laugh about the cat! We now only have parakeets who steal the hay from Baby Jesus' manger (and fish, but they are remarkably well behaved every Christmas!).

    Still, we used to have three cats, many years ago and I remember their Christmas shenanigans. I am impressed that you have ornaments on your tree! Our cats loved to climb the Christmas tree, knock off the ornaments, then climb as high as they could and jump off. Eventually it would knock over the tree, but that could wait for the middle of the night… ;D

    1. Reply

      Wendy,

      For some reason our cats haven't stolen any ornaments from the tree. I don't understand why they are being so well behaved. Usually they take the baubles and roll them round the floor! One year one of our three cats liked to go to sleep curled up on a tree branch. That was very inconvenient. It's probably just as well I don't know what goes on in the middle of the night while I'm asleep. That is definitely cat adventure time!

      I had to smile over your comment about fish. Fish may be well behaved but all the ones we've had haven't been very good at living. We lost count of the number of fish we had to scoop out of the tank after finding them floating lifelessly on their backs. At least we can be sure the cats will still be alive when we get up each day!

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

  7. Reply

    What lovely pictures Sue. I adore that first one of Gemma-Rose, it has an old-fashioned feel to it.

    I also loved seeing the homemade gifts in your post. They are so darn special. We still make each other gifts also. I even love the process of them sneaking away to make them and returning to ask me for something they need or can't find. It's always funny imagining what they could be making.

    1. Reply

      Lisa,

      In the first photo, Gemma-Rose is wearing the dress Sophie wore to Felicity's wedding. She was so pleased to have a chance to wear it.

      I got asked for a few present making materials too during Advent. One of the most successful home-made gifts was a sunglasses bag Gemma-Rose made for Sophie. She used the sewing machine and I showed her how to make a casing for the drawstring and add a toggle. Gemma-Rose was so delighted when Sophie thought the bag was shop bought because she'd done such a good job with the sewing. It looks very professional!

  8. Reply

    Dear Sue, I wish you and your family a blessed New Year and all the best! I haven't been around much recently due to Advent, Christmas, New Year …
    Pretty dresses, especially of your youngest girl!

    1. Reply

      Bernice,

      It is so lovely to exchange new year greetings with you. I hope you have a year full of blessings. I also hope you've been enjoying your break. It's good to disappear every now and then and spend more time with our families. Happy New Year!

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