I really need to work on taking pictures at night. Here's a second picture of this scene snas flash just so you know the temple was not looming all yellow and creepy, it was bright white and beautiful.
We walked by the nativity scene without any hope that Creed would make it through the whole overhead scripture reading, but he was enrapt and would have stayed to watch it twice.
But even after all of that holiday cheer, I've been feeling a little sad this week. You see, the Bonneview Stake (or maybe it's Bonneville) holds a live nativity every year in the park across the street from their building. We happened to be taking a walk there on Sunday afternoon, a few days before the event was to take place. We heard some rambunctious boys playing in the woods and didn't think much of it until they came into site and they were bashing things with metal pipes. They just calmly looked up and said, "Hi," and started bashing again when Larry started yelling at them that whatever they were doing they probably better stop and they ran away as fast as they could. We didn't know until we rounded a corner and we got closer that it was the actually nativity set they they were destroying. They had knocked over all of the fences and parts of the manger, they had thrown the hay for the manger into the creek, and they had managed to smash a lot of the wood from the set to pieces.
By then they were long gone and I was totally aghast. How could ANYONE do that? And in broad daylight? They were long gone and there wasn't much that we could do, and I was left with this worry and sadness. I would have guessed they were ten-years-old and at first they weren't even ashamed of what they had done, they just said, "Hi," and kept going. It was seriously horrible on so many levels. And I had those mom feelings of, "Oh my gosh, I just brought a child into this world and he could be friends with kids like this some day, or worse, what if he was one of those kids some day? And think of all the poor people who worked so hard to put this together, they certainly don't deserve to find this mess. And . . ."
I had such bad feelings about the whole event that I didn't even really want to go back for the live nativity on Wednesday, but ultimately we decided to head over and I'm so glad that we did. It was AMAZING. They had two Roman looking guards with bonfires at the front that you walked between to enter and then they had a lot of people in costume to greet you and answer any questions. They were handing out hot chocolate and there was a choir singing. They even had a live camel that the kids could pet.
You followed a path lined with luminaries along a creek as you walked toward the nativity. Then you walked into a clearing to see shepards with live sheep up on the hill and then you saw this.
I was so surprised to see a tiny newborn out there surrounded by the snow, but he was so content that he slept most of the time we were there. There was no site of the earlier damage and the scene was so sweet you would never have known it had happened. It made me feel much better about life; that maybe there were two naughty kids out there, but there was a large crowd of people there with heart knit together because they wanted to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.