The Broken Nativity Scene




 

Here’s another story I wrote in my UCLA Picture Book class. I’d love to see this book come to life if I can find the right publisher. Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmastime and I’m on mission. Here I am in the attic of our house looking, looking, looking up and down for things to make a great Nativity scene to add to my village collection

“What that in the corner? “I tug and pull free. Why it’s a complete Nativity Scene. A bit old, a bit dusty but here it is. The people who lived here before us must’ve left it behind Why would anybody leave behind a Nativity Scene? I wondered.

“I looked at it again. “It does have a few broken pieces, but nothing I can’t fix. All I need is glue.” I laid all the broken pieces on the table.

I glued each piece together one by one. Then, I carefully touched each piece with my finger to make sure each one was dry. But as soon as I tried to pick up the Nativity Scene, Crash!! Oh no! All the pieces I thought I fixed went sliding onto the floor. I picked up the pieces and went downstairs.I glued each piece together one by one. Then, I carefully touched each piece with my finger to make sure each one was dry. But as soon as I tried to pick up the Nativity Scene, Crash!! Oh no! All the pieces I thought I fixed went sliding onto the floor. I picked up the pieces and went downstairs.

“Mommy, look what I found in the attic. The people who lived here before us must’ve left it behind. I tried to fix it with glue but the glue didn’t hold. Can I take it to Oscar’s house?” My friends told me he has a woodshop in his garage.”

“Hmm, I’m not sure that’s a good idea Becca. The neighbors say he’s pretty grouchy. I heard he doesn’t like Christmas. Something happened. They say he hasn’t been in his woodshop for a while.”

I gave Mommy the puppy dog eyes. She sighed. “Alright. Just be careful.”

“I went over to Oscar’s house and knocked on the door. “What do you want?” He snapped. His eyes peeked through his front door opened only a sliver.

“I looked back and saw my mom standing on our front porch watching… I’m glad she was looking out for me. “My name is Becca. My family and I are new to the neighborhood. I found this old wooden Nativity Scene in my attic. Could you please help me fix it?’

“What for?” he growled.

“I’d like to put it out on my front lawn so people can see it and remember the real meaning of Christmas; The birth of Christ.”

“Oscar stared at me coldly and said, “Why bother? God isn’t real. He’s just a fictional character people talk about in order to give them comfort in times of pain. Where was he when my son died of cancer three years ago?’

“I’m really sorry about your son, but everything has a purpose. Nothing is a mistake. Look at me. I have Struge-Webber syndrome. That’s why I have redness all over my face and my left hand just sits there. I was born that way. Except for my outside appearance, I’m just like everyone else.” I said.

“That’s nice for you. I just don’t believe it.”

“But…”

“Please leave me alone.” He slowly shut his door. I could hear his footsteps walking away.

When I got back home, my mom asked, “What happened?”

“Oscar doesn’t want to help. His son died of cancer three years ago. Now he doesn’t believe in God anymore. I just know the Nativity Scene can be fixed. We should have a party and get the whole neighborhood involved. Maybe we can get Oscar excited about Christmas again and help him renew his faith in God.”

“Great idea!” My dad answered… from his office. “Count me in.”
“The next day we all gathered in our garage. Neighbors brought their hammers, nails, and tool belts. We formed an assembly line, played Christmas music on the radio and ate sugar cookies on our break.

“Oscar saw everyone in the garage having a great time laughing. He came over and asked, “What’s going on?”

“We’re fixing the Nativity Scene.” I said. “Here’s the top of the shepherd’s staff. The Shepherd watched Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem and over all the animals in the stable. Here’s the arch that covered the roof that kept Jesus and the animals warm from the cold.”

A tear stood in Oscar’s eye. “I haven’t done any woodwork since my son died. Woodwork was something we did together. He loved it. After he died, I stopped doing woodwork because it was so painful. Can I help you? My son would’ve wanted it.”

I hugged him and said, “We could use all the help we can get.”
He ran back to his garage, and came back with extra pieces of wood and jumped right in. Soon, it was time to put glue on the roof. Everyone stood back and admired it.

“Well done everybody. It’s the best looking Nativity Scene I’ve ever seen.” My dad said with a smil

“Oscar, could you please help me carry it and place it in our yard?” my dad asked.

“I would love to.”

They placed it on the front lawn. My dad plugged it in and said, ‘Okay Becca, flip the switch.” I flipped the switch and the nativity was all lit up.

“Neat-o”! I said. It looked so pretty!

Everyone held hands and drank hot chocolate with marshmallows while Mom led us into a chorus of “Silent Night.”

“I wish my son were here to see the Nativity Scene. He would’ve loved it. Becca, Thank you for reminding me of my faith. My broken heart feels repaired. Merry Christmas.”

I squeezed his hand and he smiled back warmly. “Merry Christmas.”

For more Info on Struge-Webber-syndrome go to: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001426.htm

 

 

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