We Found Him!

Christmas was just a little strange this year — it is my fault.

Well, not exactly my fault but the fault of somebody in my family.  And admittedly, it did start with me.

Being of practical mentality — not to mention being too sick all through Advent to even get the wreath out of the shed this year — I decided to let the kids (that would be six grandchildren, ages 12, 9, 8, 7, 3, and 20 months) handle by themselves the entire procession of Joseph and Mary with the donkey and of the three wise men wending their respective ways through the house to our nativity scene.  I told my daughter I wanted some plastic figurines so that the kids could traipse about with them to their hearts' content without me keeping after them with warnings to be careful or not to bump them against each other and, besides, I wanted the baby to participate.  She found just the right set and we unwrapped them, people, animals, angels, and all, put the baby Jesus into a secure, undisclosed location, and off the children went.

In various assortments and configurations that correspond to no known Gospel account, angels, shepherds, wise men, the long-suffering Joseph and his patient Betrothed, with donkey and other livestock, have spent several weeks exploring every nook and cranny of the house.  The 20-month-old has taken a shine to the angels in particular — he seems to like the way they taste and participates by carrying them around in his mouth.

A few days before Christmas, I made a feeble attempt to round everyone up and remind myself of where the baby Jesus was, but some combination of cold medicine-induced fog and wrapping paper-induced dementia left the undisclosed location of Jesus more secure than ever.

 On Christmas day the children gathered the figures and assembled them all around the empty manger.  "Where's the baby Jesus?"

"I thought I saw him on your dresser," offered my daughter.  Why not?  Why should I know what is on my dresser, anyway?

But he wasn't there, either.

We looked behind the pictures on one shelf and the books on another shelf and in various containers, to no avail.

I gave up.  "He'll turn up," I said, "if not by Epiphany, at least by the Feast of the Presentation."

Then yesterday — on the feast of the Holy Innocents — my 8-year-old grandson announced the Tidings of Great Joy, "I found the baby Jesus under the couch!"  Now I may not recall where I did stash him, but I do know it wasn't there!

At last, everything is fixed.  Jesus is right where He belongs — at the center of the Holy Family and at the center of ours.  May He be at the center of your family, too, through the remaining days of Christmas and through all His festal seasons.

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  • Guest

    Great article, Mary!  Maybe this was Jesus's way of reminding us all that it's still Christmas.  Sorry to hear that you've been sick;  I had noticed that you hadn't been posting much.

  • Guest

    We had a similar thing happen to our Baby Jesus this year, too.  Leaving it to the two-year-old for safekeeping is probably not the best idea.  While cleaning out his room the day after Christmas, I found the Baby Jesus and the manger at the bottom of a golf bag underneath the Russian nesting doll parts (also missing).  What a surprise!  He's now resting more comfortably in the nativity set!

  • Guest

    Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle http://www.donnacooperoboyle.com  http://www.donnamariecooperoboyle.blogspot.com  http://www.donnamarieembracingmotherhood.blogspot.com

    Beautiful story, Mary! I'm sorry that you have been sick, though. I sure hope that you are feeling better by now.

    God bless!


  • Guest

    I have a feeling holidays are a blast at your house.

    Thanks for the delightful chuckle and the reminder that Jesus is always around somewhere. (Although, I've never looked under the couch for him!)

    Merry Christmas! 

  • Guest

    That explains why some of my marginal comments got through.

    We had a similar story in the news here. Some prankster teenagers decided to steal Jesus from a Nativity display. All ended well when the figurine was found. The teenagers realized that it was Jesus holding them hostage. It literally scared the hell out of 'em.

  • Guest

    Mary Christmas, Merry!  or is it Merry Christmas, Mary!

    We're all more alike then we think based on some of the posts.  We "lost" baby Jesus sometime between the last Christmas cleanup season (It takes months for everything to return to the attic) and the reappearance of decorations this December.  The kids ended up placing a little bear in the manger Christmas morning.

    Then, providentially, who should appear in a remote location of my china cabinet  ON CHRISTMAS MORNING, but…Baby Jesus!  I quietly placed him in the manger, and waited for the family to realize he'd been "born". 

    Amazingly, he's still there, all two inches of him, 4 days after Christmas!  If  he goes missing again, I'll first check under the couch.  If he's not there, I'll check a stocking toe.

    If he can't be found, the smallest Matrioshka doll will do.

    Of course, I could always nestle Baby Annaliese, all 22 inches of her in the manger….

    Thanks for the heartwarming story.  You've inspired me to stop pecking away, and pray in front of the Baby Jesus in the manger sitting beside me. 

  • Guest

    I'm so sorry you've been so sick, Mary!  I do hope you're feeling better.

    Thank you for this story.  I hope the (grand)children learned something about "searching" for Jesus, and finding Him.


  • Guest

    Wonderful Christmas joy!

    Saint Anthony has been on call at our house a great deal this year. We didn't lose baby Jesus, but practically everyone has lost something over the past few days — from the baby's pacifier to a remote control car to the TV remote. One of the children even said that as long as we still had Jesus, it didn't really matter what we lost.

    And still, with several appeals for St. Anthony's intercession, we're back at full accountability!

    Glad you're feeling better, Mary!


  • Guest

    Hope you feel better soon! I admit that this has happened in our household more than once and I hope it coincided with years that i was ill or with new baby but I have dim memories! 

    Anyway, my children are aware that this is always a danger and try to make sure that they know where Jesus is hidden in case I forget, again.

    I have used this to show them that the faith is something that they have to find for themselves. If they need Jesus, they need to know where to look and not count on my faith alone to save them. They roll their eyes a lot but I think it got through! Merry Christmas! 

  • Guest

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful Christmas story.  I'm glad that Jesus was finally "found" and I hope that you feel better soon!