We were going through an area we call “the bunker,” hauling out old paint cans, coffee cans full of bent nails, moldy stuffed animals, and minutes from Membership Committee meetings held during the presidency of Gerald Ford.
One of the boxes I opened, shoved way back underneath a lower shelf, appeared to be stuffed with old newspaper, but clearly had some heft to it. So I started unwrapping.
The newspapers were from 1962. The Syracuse Herald-Journal.
It was a crèche that had not seen the light of day in forty years.
The figurines were marked “Italy,” and were finely done. There were shepherds, wise folk, angels, and an assortment of appropriate critters.
And there were two Josephs.
I ransacked the box. Turned it upside down. Went through the papers again.
Not a single Mary in sight.
And I smiled.
Yes. Of course. A holy family.
This article appeared under the headline “A Story, True,” in the Winter 2005 issue of UU World. Photograph (above): Joseph (cstar55/iStockphoto).