Throughout Advent we have been looking at Christmas around the world with the help of Born Among Us from USPG. Each week we have travelled to a different country and seen how they decorate their cribs and celebrate the coming of the Christ Child. We were amazed to see that each country contexualises their own preparations, with llamas in the stable in Peru, parrots in Nicaragua, local shopkeepers in France all paying homage to the infant Jesus. So we decided that this year we would have a Scottish crib.
I asked the congregations what gifts they would bring that would reflect our heritage, and who might appear in the crib. Haggis! Highland coos! Whisky! Neeps! Pipers piping! And so they appeared, along with Nessie, Irn Bru, Tunnocks teacakes, thistles, puffins and even some Portobello pottery. it became a veritable tartan feast.
The children adored it and took great delight in showing it to friends who arrived for our Crib Service on Christmas eve.
Of course, it may be that the children were tickled pink to find the caganer hidden in the corner. The caganer originated in Catalonian crib scenes and translates as ‘defecator’! Usually it is shown as a peasant crouching down doing a poo, showing that Jesus affects all humankind. St Mark’s is proud to announce that we too have our own caganer, in Scottish style of course.