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 Daddy’s bedside) long enough to see the 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 they’ve been in since I was a little girl. The same breed of painted plywood deer in most every yard. Even a house or two that sported lighted pink flamingo or two and neon palm trees.
And several manger scenes.
The girls and I had read recently about a Baby Jesus stolen from a 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 wasn’t. I joked to my mom and girls that maybe somebody had stolen Baby Jesus from the manger.
“Probably would,” my mom acknowledged, “if he weren’t nailed down.”
Then she realized what she’d said.