. . . and other Christmas mysteries
We have a European Christmas candle carousel. We bought it in the summer at a tourist shop and nothing on it works right. But, we put it out every year.
On Christmas eve and Christmas day, we light the candles and try to get it to turn the right direction without catching anything on fire. There is a right direction. On the bottom layer, the camels and wise men move in a circle. On the middle row the shepherds and sheep move in a circle. More often than not, it’s a reverse circle.
We’ve checked the fan blades to make sure they are set to move in a forward direction. We try to balance the structure by putting paper under the feet. My husband is an engineer. You’d think we could figure it out.
One year, Joseph came unglued. I don’t think it had anything to do with the wise men marching around him in reverse. Someone disassembled the whole thing and superglued him back in place. It might have been my husband, but I’m not blaming him. When we sat down to the next meal, one of the kids noticed that Joseph hung upside-down.
I’m not sure why we never took him down. Superglue is pretty strong, but I don’t think that’s the reason. With both parents working, who has time to superglue Joseph twice?
The kids thought it was fun. Their friends would come over and they would say, “Look at Joseph. He’s hanging upside down like a vampire.” I’m sure we are the only ones with a vampire Joseph on our carousel.
It has a few burn marks and wax splatters from candle mishaps. But I put it out again this year. We will spend the holiday meal adjusting the blades and balancing the feet. . . and we will remember all of the Christmases with the kids growing up. . . working as a team to fix the carousel.
I looked at the carousels at a European Christmas market one year. So beautiful. So perfect. So expensive. If I were to buy one, we would look at it and remember the one with Joseph hanging upside down and the sheep walking backward. Guess I’ll just keep the one I have.
And what of the other Christmas mysteries?
The giant angel with the nativity set. Even kneeling she is taller than the shepherd. Not sure where she came from. Another set, perhaps.
Three sizes of buildings and people in the Christmas village. I look at each one and remember where it came from. Makes me smile. One year my daughter tried to make it a 3D village by placing the larger houses up front and the smaller ones in back.
The wooden candy cane holder with fifteen-year-old candy canes. We never eat them. My sister offered one to a child and I had to snatch it out of her hand.
And the fifty-year-old blow up Santa that hasn’t held air in years, but we still put it out next to the fifty-year-old stuffed Santa whose seams are barely holding.
These are the things my kids will consider normal as they enter their adult lives. I guess I should apologize to their spouses.