There is a dark family secret that we have kept quiet about for years. Joseph and the curse. It had followed me my entire life. I just can’t shake it. For over 40 years, it has hung over my family like a dark cloud…
Coming from a Christian family, we have always celebrated Jesus’ birth with a nativity scene. Before I left home, the last nativity my parents had was a huge ceramic set that someone painted. That is when the Curse of Joseph began. (Cue eerie music.)
Somewhere along the line, Joseph’s nose got smashed prior to firing in the kiln. So, it stayed smashed. Seriously, it looked like Joseph got walloped in the face with a shepherd’s hook. (I come from a family with an odd sense of humor.) Joseph’s smashed nose started all kinds of inside jokes… Mary caught him sneaking out with the boys, so she hit him in the nose…. jokes like that (I know, I know… that’s just how my family rolls.)
It seemed no matter how well we packed up poor Joseph, every year he looked even more worse for wear…. until his hand fell off and my mom (Nana) said enough already. I can’t even REPEAT the stories that we laughed about that year. Especially when Mom put up the nativity WITHOUT Joseph.
Fast forward a few years and I began a collection of nativities of my own. I currently have 400 of them. I kid you not… 15 of them have something wrong with Joseph. It’s a curse, I tell ya. None of the other figures are broke or cracked or missing… just Joseph. Each year, no matter how protected they are when they get packed away, something happens to at least one Joseph figurine.
One of my Joseph’s is missing a hand (carpentry accident, of course). Another is missing an ear. One has his staff broken off from a wayward ball being thrown in the living room. One has a missing foot.
When I collect nativities, besides the traditional ones, I try to find unique ones – especially from other cultures. This year, I purchased a couple of new nativities (okay, I have a total of 5 new ones this year, but who is counting…) from Yonder Star. They specialize in unique nativities from other cultures. One of the ones I picked this year for my collection was an Arctic Nativity Scene that featured a seal, penguin, and an Igloo stable.
I received the nativity and opened it up.
Checked for damage.
Repacked it tightly.
Took it upstairs and placed it in the Rubbermaid container I keep my nativities in…
Imagine my surprise when I opened it up to decorate for Christmas and found Joseph’s head had fallen off.
Okay, so maybe I wasn’t THAT surprised.
It’s a curse, I tell ya.
By now, Joseph and the curse is a family legend. At Christmas, we laugh about the “stories” of Joseph and I am always asked which Joseph was damaged this year. Then, Nana and I immediately work on a new “story” for the broken Joseph. Not sure what the story will be for the headless Joseph this year…
I am thankful God allowed Mary to give birth to Jesus to save us from our sins.
I am also thankful for Super Glue.
Perhaps I should start collecting snowmen.