• Neil Allen

"The Pastor that Hated Christmas"

An awakening at Christmas by Neil Allen

A Recent gift from a dear friend

When I was grumbling around the house on my "Day Off" from my parish, my wife asked, "Why are you so grumpy?" My answer began in a tired pastoral voice that sounded much like Elijah's rather poor response to God, "I work day and night in Advent, and nobody really cares." That's when my wife said,

"Oh go put up the nativity set, for Heaven's sake!"

I grumbled a few tired words, and went to the fireplace mantle and began to set up the Avon she had been collecting since 1979.

A ceramic camel that changed my life...

...appeared in my hand. As nativities sets go (looking back) it wasn't all that amazing, but it just hit my eye just right. I noticed the saddle, the bent knees, the wrinkled blanket...so I called out (as most husbands do when they've 'DISCOVERED" a new world...."Hey Nora, have you seen this camel? It's really amazing!"

She barked a quick comeback from the kitchen, "Of course I've seen the camel!"

Then out came the angel. NOW THAT WAS AN IMPRESSIVE ANGEL! And there was Mary, and the baby Jesus, and Joseph (who would crash to the tile that Christmas due to our cat "Discovering the Nativity.")....and I was hooked.

Of course, she gave me my first nativity set. It was from Peru, and quite fragile in my shaky hands (thanks for that gift mom)....500 nativities later....

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