Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.
I took my mom for a little drive around town so she could see the Christmas lights. Things had changed a bit since she was last able to be gone from home (and from Daddyâ€™s bedside) long enough to see the Â lights, and we got a little lost on the roads she remembered and I ended up in driveways instead of on the road. But it was a very lovely evening filled with light and lots of lights.
Pretty trees in the same windows theyâ€™ve been in sinceÂ I was a little girl. The same breed Â of painted plywood deer Â in Â most Â every Â yard. Â Even Â a Â house Â or Â two Â that sported Â lighted Â pink Â flamingo Â or Â two Â and Â neon Â palm trees.
And several manger scenes.
The girls and I had read recently about a Baby Jesus stolen from a Â manger scene, so when we passed a little house with a lighted manger admired by a plywood angel nailed into position, a plywood Mary, a plywood Joseph, and several plywood wise men, shepherds, and sheep, I told the girls to look and see if Baby Jesus was in the manger.
He wasnâ€™t. I joked to my mom and girls that maybe somebody had stolen Baby Jesus from the manger.
â€œProbably Â would,â€ Â my Â mom Â acknowledged,Â Â â€œif Â he werenâ€™t nailed down.â€
Then she realized what sheâ€™d said.