I want a new nativity


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I keep seeing nativities everywhere.

And they’re all gorgeous and I love them but I’m also pissed off.

Because they’re always so perfect.

Too perfect.

It’s as if they seem to forget you have to be PREGNANT to have a baby. Why is Mary skinny?

I want a big ol’ pregnant Mary.

And why is she old?

I want a young, fat Mary.

And speaking of Mary, I want to free that nipple.

I want a breastfed baby Jesus.

Because that’s how babies are fed.

Because that’s how JESUS WAS FED.

And if we can’t get the boobs can we AT LEAST have a Jesus that’s at being HELD by his mother? I don’t get this “staring from afar at my precious baby Jesus” theme. MARY HOLD YOUR BABY.

And while we’re at it I want dirty sheep and obnoxious donkeys?

And I definitely want an old crusty camel.

And we certainly need more than three wise man.

And can we PLEASE have some diversity?

Does anyone remember the wise men were from the EAST?

What is with these clean, white, perfectly bearded men?

I want road-weary black or brown or tan wise men




Once and for all:


I mean, YOU GUYS.

Jesus wasn’t white.

I can cope with brown hair but do NOT get me started on blonde haired blue-eyed Jesus.

Lord help us. For real.

And I want dark skin.

I want Middle Eastern Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.

And some olive-skinned shepherds and drummer boy.

Because we’re in Bethlehem, not Beaverton.

And I want a real stable.

Anyone ever been to a stable? They’re dark, dank and smelly. Not too mention THE POOP.

And I want a real manger. One that DOESN’T have perfectly placed crisp yellow straw.

I hem and haw but you see, I just want to look at my nativity and have a sense of what it was REALLY like.

I want to see a real picture into the past.

I want a snapshot of the unglamorous, un-trinket-able entrance of my Savior into this world.

Because this year, more than ever, painted-up Jesus won’t do.

Life is too hard, too sad to gaze upon pretty, tidy, American Jesus.

And really there’s nothing very pretty, tidy, (or dare I say American?) about following Jesus, amirite?

You see, this year I need my nativity real.

I need it raw.

I need it messy and stinky and plain because I want to dwell on the miracle of Christmas.

And the miracle is that God entered this messy world in a messy way.

That he REALLY became human.

That he came right out of his momma, blood, placenta, goop, and all.

That he came just like we came,

As a baby.

He came into this world just as he left it–


And yet miraculous.

Yes, the Jesus I know knows stress and mess and stink and suffering.

So this year Perfect Barn Jesus won’t do.

So I want a new nativity.



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