Advent 2019 #23: Choose your own nativity

A few weeks back, I picked up a Nativity colouring-in sheet at Church. There was a pile of them on a table in the entrance foyer. So I took one.

I’ve been colouring them in across the month, presumably for “mindfulness” (or whatever it is). Although, realising that I’d be posting it online didn’t make it particularly relaxing.


It’s definitely not my best work and I think some sharper pencils would have helped me stay inside the lines more. A greater colour range would have also been good, but I don’t usually sit and colour-in, so I just had to make do with what I had.

I also think my attempt to make the angel look like it was radiating heavenly glory has led to an overuse of yellow. I’ve been referring to it recently as ‘jaundice angel’. It doesn’t look quite right to me.

I’m also not sure why, after going all matchy-matchy with Mary in red, I suddenly decided to make it look like she’s got a purple half-slip petticoat accidentally dropping below the hem of her dress. (??)

On top of my mediocre colouring in skills, as I’ve coloured I’ve found myself pondering three “profound” questions about the drawings themselves:

  1. Why has everyone got their eyes closed?
  2. Why has nobody got any legs? and…
  3. Why is wise man, Gaspar channelling Yankee Doodle with a feather in his hat?

Deeply profound stuff, I know.

Yes, the angel has stump-like flippers; but still – no legs.

We do bizarre stuff with the Christmas Nativity, don’t we?

It makes me think of the scene in Love Actually when Emma Thompson’s character, Karen has a conversation with her onscreen child, Daisy about the upcoming school nativity play:

Karen: So what’s this big news, then?

Daisy: We’ve been given our part in the nativity play. And I’m the lobster.

Karen: The lobster?

Daisy: Yeah

Karen: In the nativity play?

Daisy: Yeah, first lobster.

Karen: There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?

Daisy: Duh.

I remember perhaps around a decade ago now, the TV show, The Panel would do their annual The Panel Christmas Wrap show. I watched The Panel itself on a semi-regular basis, but I watched their Christmas special religiously.

Every year they would include a nativity play that incorporated references to events that had occurred across the past twelve months. They were probably a group of atheists but they still, for whatever reason, decided to include in the program a somewhat correct retelling of the first Christmas.

Some Churches could learn a few things from these atheists’ annual performance and I always enjoyed it.

I recall one year, there was a natural disaster in Queensland which impacted Australia’s agricultural production, especially bananas. The prices were sky-high for many months. That year on The Panel Christmas Wrap, when the Wise Men showed up during the play, they gifted Jesus with Gold, Frankincense and… bananas.

I liked that. And I think God does too. We often forget he has a sense of humour.

Christians believe that humanity is created ‘in the image of God’. This means we share some of his characteristics and personality. If we have the ability to have a laugh, it’s because he does too.

He’s the divine comedian. Lobsters, bananas… I’m sure he finds that funny.

I hope he feels the same way about jaundice angel with the stump-like flippers.

Yours in needing to learn how to colour-in a bit better,


Photo by Oleg Zaicev on

Quote from Love Actually sourced thanks to

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