The Orphan Box
Updated: Feb 4
When you start collecting a large number of nativities (more than 50 sets) it will happen soon enough - pieces will go missing. Last year I created an "Orphan Box" to keep my little lost toys together for comfort.
Our collection is a modest 600 sets, so I know all about missing pieces. It's always sheep that volunteer to wander off, some never to return, or return with no intention of staying. There are more than a few sheep in my orphan box.
As you can see from a member's collection, other animals follow this path to waywardness. It takes more than a careful eye to leave the 99 and find the one. A good owner (occasionally I might qualify under this title), will document the numbers of pieces and even develop systems to make sure they are stored properly. In our case, with a traveling show and dozens of helpers working in a time crunch, we have had our fair share of undocumented migrants within the collection.
Here again we visit these odds and ends which addresses another disturbing issue - sometimes whole groups of sets commingle in a "birds of a feather" flock, which disturbed me to such an extent after the 15 sortings of look-a-like sets that I freed myself from the whole lot of them. My current orphan box is fairly small, but that's because Covid-19 kept more from wandering off because they never left the barn.
The sets above look identical to the sets I donated to families without nativities of their own. Apparently, Father Roten, who inherited these pieces, has reached a similar position. He is thus opening the windows and doors of his treasury (yes that was a plan on words from Vatican II) to help all these pieces find new homes.
I wish him well, as these pieces would be much better suited to a family of matching pieces with so many children, sheep, cows, donkeys, they don't know what to do (are you keeping up with all the references?)
Sadly, as all collectors and vendors of nativities know, even Jesus get's misplaced from time to time. Sadder still is the reality that the heart of the nativity is stolen far more than any other nativity character.
Here are a few of the many babies that have been separated from their families. Yes, I too searched the scattered babies for my own.
If your heart can take it, here are even more.
And even a few more.
Father Roten is appealing to your better angels and seeking among our collectors, a way to find a place for the "Son of Man" to lay his head. Neither is there any more room in the Orphan Box Inn.
Oh but wait there's more
Operators are standing by.
Yes, I've had a bit of fun with this blog. I pray it encouraged you to keep reading and deeply consider adopting some of these treasured orphans. Nativities are of little value when separated and stored away hoping for adoption.
For information on these orphaned pieces Contact Michele Devitt at firstname.lastname@example.org. . that's Michele Devitt email@example.com. And you should know that all the pieces are "Free. Free. Free, Free, Free....not including shipping....This isn't Amazon.
Neil Allen - Webmaster Friends of the Creche