Years ago, my husband and I prepared for a barbarian invasion.
We hid valuables. We said prayers. We kept watch, knowing they’d sweep away our well-ordered lives.
We charged outside … and retrieved the world’s most beloved barbarians, our 2-year-old granddaughter and 10-month-old grandson, from car seats.
Baby immediately yanked our books from shelves. When we interrupted, he reacted with a type A personality’s outrage.
His sister flipped light switches. “On! Off!” The little blonde goddess obviously controlled the universe.
Time to civilize barbarians — a little. We played with blocks, love-worn stuffed animals and an ancient Fisher-Price parking garage our children once enjoyed.
The grandchildren zoomed cars down the ramp, cheering wipeouts. The scene reminded me of Christmas parking lots. And (shiver!) future 16th birthdays.
I offered a Nativity set with soft finger puppets. Baby happily crawled around with Wise Men in his mouth. Retrieving bowls from my cabinets, his sister made imaginary applesauce for the Nativity crew.
Peace on earth reigned.
Too soon, they had to leave. Hubby and I helped their parents search for bag, bottles, coats.
We wanted to send the Nativity set home with them, an early Christmas present. Hopefully, gnawing the Wise Men would keep Baby quiet during the trip. Mary and Joseph bore evidence Little Girl had found real applesauce for their dinner party. We corralled animals, angels and shepherds.
Where was Baby Jesus?
Hubby sifted through the toy box again. I scanned refrigerator shelves, hoping Little Girl hadn’t decided Jesus needed air-conditioning.
“Is Jesus in the parking garage?” I yelled to Hubby.
Not a question I’d ever expected to ask during my lifetime.
Shaking my head as I raised the toilet lid, I hoped He wouldn’t be floating in a not-so-sanitary Sea of Galilee. No, but new anxiety seized me. Had someone flushed Him?
“I’ll find Jesus and mail Him,” I promised.
But I’d wanted our grandchildren to get to know Him during Christmas.
I dove under furniture again and discovered Baby Jesus behind the stereo.
“How did He end up there?” Our daughter dusted Him off.
I shrugged. “Who knows? Jesus sometimes turns up in the oddest places.”
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Where did Jesus show up during your Christmas season?