Today’s read is a Christmas column by husband and wife team David and Jeanne Heidler. They’re historians, editors, and former academics who have written extensively about the late 18th and 19th centuries. Here’s an excerpt:
Down through the ages, this unlikely tableau from more than two thousand years ago has been repeated in celebratory annual pageants staged by old and young alike, and in almost every instance and despite the most careful preparations, the Nativity is always destined to seem absurdly wrong in its particulars. The school play most often suffers this fate. Parents can labor for weeks over costumes, but one of the kneeling magi will reveal that he is wearing tennis shoes. The sets can be carefully constructed and repeatedly tested, but the innkeeper’s door will stick, the angel descending on the shepherds will teeter uneasily and forget her lines, and those brave enough to cast a real baby in the role of Christ will have a talker ready to babble over everyone’s speech or a crier who has had quite enough of Christmas pageants and raises the decibels accordingly. And yet, and just as it was that night in Bethlehem, it will all be perfect.
Read the entire column here.