This Christmas, just two days before Christmas, when I'd already sent out my cards, I thought of an idea for a new Christmas card. I had a lot of challenges with this as I usually don't create people. People can be very difficult. No pun intended.
Throughout the world, it is common to see Nativity scenes created to reflect the local culture. Our family has a deep connection to the people of El Salvador, in Central America, thus this Salvadoran Nativity scene.
In this scene, the Holy Family is wearing the colors of El Salvador, blue and white. Joseph is wearing a string of sea shells, reflecting the Pacific Ocean facing the country. Perhaps it was a humble gift from Mary. Joseph is looking in wonder at this beautiful child of God and the star has guided us to the Holy Family.
Three wise persons have arrived bearing gifts. In honor of the Holy Family, their colors are similar but with a touch of gold. One gift they carry looks particularly heavy so their leader and guide is helping to carry it to the Holy Family. The camel is adorned too (Have you ever seen the tourist photos of camel rides at the Pyramids in Egypt? The camels are clothed in various layers and colors!) The woman leading the other two is an academic, studying astronomy. She was the first to see the "star" in the night sky. She learned much of what she knew from her father and her interview with the academy was the first of its kind. Yes, during 4 BCE. No one could deny her intellectual capabilities. She led the other two wise people on their journey to Bethlehem. (I'll bet you hadn't heard this part of the Nativity story before.)
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