Old Christmas

TALKING TO MYSELF 7 January 2016 -- "Old Christmas" may be today, January 7. Certainly, it is celebrated on this date by the Orthodox Church in Russia and in some other parts of the world. Or it may have been yesterday, January 6, or the day before that, January 5, depending on where you live and whose traditions you adhere to. The confusion on when Christians agree to celebrate Christmas dates back over four hundred years. That's when the Gregorian Calendar replaced the Julian Calendar and eleven days in the year were "lost" - more accurately, wiped off the calendar. December 25th, the best I can figure out, simply arrived eleven days earlier in the Gregorian calendar than it had in the older Julian. (That adds new meaning to the question many of us ask every week: Where did the time go?) Then, as now, many ordinary folks resisted change, and held to celebrating Christmas "Old Style" in what had abruptly become January. How January 5th drifted to the 6th and then to the 7th, I have no idea -- unless it involved an early version of the three-day weekend.

Regardless of when "Old Christmas" is celebrated, the creche pictured here is old. Very old. Handmade by Ernie's G-Grandfather, James Andrew Beverly, it dates to the late 19th Century. According to family tradition, "Jim" Beverly carved the figures from wax and molded the plaster box that holds them. Ernie's mother added gold paint to the plaster about forty + years ago. Prior to that, I have the impression the plaster was painted brown. "Jim" Beverly also made beautiful egg baskets, and we are fortunate to have inherited two of them.

(Click here to see the photo of the creche: https://www.facebook.com/butterinthemorning/?fref=nf )

©Georgia Green Stamper