• Morgan Fagg


Updated: Dec 28, 2018

As a child, I used to love playing with the Christmas crib, the donkey and sheep somehow always made their way onto the manger´s roof with the angel.

Over the years, I have grown up a little and my parents have replaced the familiar old crib with a beautiful larger set. Made of Ceramics, I no longer play with the figurines or set them up at Christmas time and over the last five years since moving to Spain, my mother has proudly organised the nativity display with the same devotion she has for organising flowers in the church.

This year, I have decided to expand upon the family crib, Spanish style.

An Irish crib with sheep, donkeys and cows and a few wise guys is very basic compared to the rich tapestry on display in Spain. Here on the peninsula, Spanish people focus more on Jerusalem and Bethlehem than just a little stable and I decided to enter the crib DIY world for some presents for my own mother, Mary.

For €5 I bought a little table to add to the crib, for €6 I bought a small bridge to add to the scene and adding is not a problem, knowing when to stop is.

Jesus was a carpenter’s son and he and his followers were fishermen. I saw saws and battery operated figurines fishing.

You can find pots and pans, miniature loaves of bread, carpenters holding hammers, fishermen with nets and bakers with ovens.

At 50 cent each, I bought three small items shaped like sacks. A little more expensive, I now have a miniature axe embedded in a stack of wood. Forget the train sets at Christmas time, this is model building at its best. Orange trees, foods, wells with running water and even waterfalls if you want them. You could create a biblical oasis.

You can really go to town on Bethlehem and I am tempted to start a tv series Pimp my Crib so others can get past the three wise men and add the most incredible level of detail.

Three wise men need camels and servants and distant kingdoms, okay maybe I have gone too far but Bethlehem is beautiful and really comes to life in many Spanish homes.

With eggs on a frying pan and sacks of oranges, you can have a medieval shopping list of things to add to your crib and manger nativity scene.

Things were simpler in biblical times though I’m sure pregnant women didn’t have it easy, people had to work for every scrap of food on the table and children needed more than just presents from the three wise men to get by, as they say, it takes a town to raise a child.

Why not help build a little more within your own community. There are sadly too many people homeless with no room at the inn who could really do with that unwanted pair of socks to help keep their feet warm on cold nights. Volunteer if you can, spend time with family, stop writing in that stupid blog, walk the bloody dog, whatever it is that creates peace on earth and help others.

A new year is almost upon us, let’s set out our stall as we put away the crib.

Peace be with you Athlone.

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