missing baby Jesus update – the Red Man’s Christmas traditions

On Christmas Eve my thoughts return to the thrilling days of yesteryear when The Red Man ranted and raved his way through cyberspace for seven years from 2010 – 2016. Red was a rescued Welsh terrier that became my alter ego who introduced me to the blogosphere. No subject was too sacred for that little dog to discuss – politics, religion, sports, the dearly beloved, the dearly departed, his favorite TV shows, his crushes on Hottie Docs – really he had an exaggerated opinion of himself and his literary abilities. How I miss him and his mischief.

But what Red really loved was a healthy dose of gossip about someone or something he could make fun of, and there was a particular story about a missing baby Jesus in an outdoor church nativity scene in Navasota, Texas that entertained him every Christmas.

Apparently the old woman Slow, Red’a name for me, had a cousin who was the Church Organist at a little church in Navasota that had a decoration committee which was responsible for erecting and maintaining an outdoor nativity scene every year with the requisite Wise Men, little shepherd boy, sheep, Mary, Joseph, the whole manger “scene.” The focal point of the presentation was a tiny cradle holding the baby Jesus. Just your regular old run-of-the-mill outdoor church nativity scene.

The only distinguishing difference with this particular pastoral scene was discovered by the Church Organist’s older brother one evening in December, 2010 when he was strolling the grounds rolling his cigarettes while waiting for the Church Organist to finish choir practice. When he walked past the nativity scene, he saw that the cradle was empty, as in no baby Jesus at all…anywhere… which kind of ruined the whole effect of the scene. So this Bearded Brother informed the Church Organist who told the Pastor.

High drama ensued at the little church during the business meeting the following Wednesday night in which the church Pastor admitted there had been a cover-up by the decoration committee which was aware the baby Jesus had actually been stolen the previous year but the committee members were hoping no one would get close enough to the nativity scene to notice since no one had noticed last year. None of the members had considered the possibility that the Church Organist’s brother would be rolling cigarettes next to the nativity scene.

Through the years the mystery of the baby Jesus theft was never solved for any number of reasons including but not limited to the year one of the members of the church decoration committee ran off with another member’s husband which completely halted the search that year. Another year one of the Wise Men’s legs broke off, and still another year found the little shepherd boy had grown a mustache of snow…who had time to think about an empty cradle during more obvious emergencies.

Gradually through the years the manger itself began to  slowly disintegrate in the harsh Texas winters until this year according to the same Church Organist cousin, the outdoor nativity scene was abandoned and the cradle in the manger moved inside the church to a place of reverence under the Christmas tree in the sanctuary.

The Bearded One had this to say:

Who could dare put the empty Jesus crib by the tree,

still empty! Maybe the decoration committee is trying

to make the thief come forward, and reveal his shame, 

just horrible, anyone who would steal the Baby Jesus

will surely burn in Hell.

I know for sure The Red Man would have laughed to himself once again over the true meaning of the Christmas spirit revealed in the never-ending saga of the missing baby Jesus.

From Pretty, Charly, Spike and the old woman Slow, (none of whom can believe it’s really Christmas of 2017)

Merry Christmas to all, and keep a close watch over your mangers.





About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to missing baby Jesus update – the Red Man’s Christmas traditions

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    Sheila, I finally sat down at 10:30 with my first mug of coffee, Gingerbread Spice, in honor of the season. “Girls! It’s a Baby Jesus update!” We scanned the your post, me reading aloud while Pops read between the lines. Cassie Potatoes harrumphed and tsk, tsked. A hardened atheist, she long since gave up on Baby Jesus’ return. Miss Pops was outraged the entire decoration committee hasn’t been forced to resign in disgrace and the pastor reassigned over the crime. The godless Russians no doubt are involved. CP reminded her she has abused a number of plastic babies and has no business getting hot under the dog collar. I guess we can only hope the Old Bearded one will someday smote the perpetrator(s). May we live to see the day.

    On a happier note, I’ve gone old lady crazy and added a new member to our family. He arrives after the holidays, a fawn Bouvier des Flandres puppy!. Updates to follow.

    Merry Christmas to you, Pretty, Spike and Charly. May you enjoy a magical season with family, friends and critters.

    Love Ann, Pops, CP, Stripes, Doctor Zeus Almighty emeritus, Frankie, and ???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Well, WELL!!!
      A new member to the family is just the BEST Christmas present ever to one and all, and we cannot wait for updates and puppy pictures!!! Old lady crazy is the best crazy to catch up with – and you know why? Because it just screams It’s my Party, and I’ll add to my family whenever I want to…good for you, Ann, and Congratulations to everyone!
      I had to write the Christmas missing baby Jesus update for you and Pops and Cassie P…it’s our own tradition and honors The Red Man’s mystique.
      All of us will be thinking of all of our northern family with love and longing from deep in the heart this Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Luanne says:

    Another miracle will happen when that manger is filled one year. Of course, if it was in my house, it would be filled by a cat! Merry Christmas!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m thinking The Big Cheeto sold him to the Russians. Traded him for those incriminating tapes. I wouldn’t put it past him 😁 I hope your family has a beautiful Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

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