Since I was a boy, I have been fascinated with the tale of the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi. I used to take the stories literally, and I imagined the scene played out just like in children’s books and in the nativity scenes I would see each December. As I grew older, I understood that the events depicted in those books and scenes did not literally happen as such. The birth of Jesus was one event. There is no doubt that this occurred, though the exact when and where are up for a little debate. The visit by kings, if it happened at all, is written to have occurred anywhere from six days to two years later. The number of kings is also in question. Certain Christian sects, notably those in the Middle East, tell of twelve kings visiting the baby Christ. Six days, two years, twelve kings, three kings – doesn’t matter to me one bit. I was, and still am, captivated by the magical moment and the memories it evokes. In this season of non-stop carols, the ones I always love best are those sung about the Birth and the Adoration.
This year, I wanted to make a little something that would pay homage to those boyish feelings of awe and wonder. I also wanted it to be quick and simple. I recently saw a picture of a Santa face painted on the angled cut of a small log. I thought I would do a similar thing with three logs and make them into the Three Magi. They would stand around a small section of log with a circular hole. A tiny tea light sticking out of the hole would represent the infant Christ.
I went to the log pile outside and picked out some likely candidates. These happened to be maple, but any wood will do.
I cut them to the heights I wanted, and angled their faces.
I used a small selection of Handan’s craft paints – green, red, black, white, silver and gold. I kept the lines simple to capture the ecstasy of the Adoration and the pure joy of my childhood Christmases.
When I was done painting, I drilled a shallow hole in the creche log that would hold the tea light. The result is simple and heartwarming.
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