In my family, there's a nativity set older than I am (and yes, that's old), but it's made out of a kind of plastic that is--for all intents and purposes--indestructible. Now, this nativity isn't brightly colored. It's wan at best, drab at worst, but the baby Jesus is holding up his arms in some sort of delight.
Children in my family have taken this to mean that the baby is excited and having a good time. And if Baby Jesus is having a good time, then he must be doing something more exciting than laying in the pile of hay. Children in my family--young to old--have been playing with action figure Baby Jesus every Christmas since the nativity came home.
Baby Jesus has starred in plays, watched movies, rescued the wise men from evil robot dinosaurs and done all the things any great sidekick toy could do, and more. MUCH more.
In fact, the desire to play with Baby Jesus has resulted in a number of years where Baby Jesus went missing for a period of time, but through luck (or miracle) the figure always finds it's way home. Even from the garden.
The adventures of Baby Jesus have resulted in very strict play regulations as follows:
Baby Jesus may not ride in the Ferris Wheel, especially not fast enough to be launched out (Yes, Baby Jesus always wins the height contest; no, Baby Jesus may not participate this year).
There will be no feeding of Baby Jesus to the dog.
Baby Jesus may not, under any circumstance, be dipped in food. This does not improve the taste, and no, Great Aunt Gertrude did not poison the potatoes, so this step is unnecessary to render food safe for eating.
Baby Jesus may not be buried, and even if he were buried, no flowers would grow.
Under no circumstances is Baby Jesus to be put into a catapult. EVER.
Baby Jesus may not go for a swim in the pool, the hot tub, or even the bath (and no, dunking Baby Jesus in your drinking glass does not turn the water into holy water--OR WINE!).
And those are just the highlights. Hope everyone is having a great Holiday whether it involves three flies up with Baby Jesus (no really, we've seen that in our household), fire duels with menorahs, Kwanza wishes, or whichever winter holiday you celebrate!
A Happy New Year just around the corner.