Festivities & Celebrations,  Tiny Kingdom Exclusive

I Thought The Boys Were Thrilled By The Virgin Mary

I’m not much of a collector, but I’ve tried to pick up a Nativity scene from places I visit.  We’re up to three, and they’re currently displayed on the mantel.  The boys have been enamored with them.  There’s the Mexican Nativity that I got after my mother died:


(Joseph is absent as he’s still decapitated but I hope Porter’s Webelo skills will help remedy that situation.)

And the intricate and fascinating nativity from Kenya:

And finally, the expensive and somewhat staid creche from Lisbon:

It’s this monochromatic one that the boys cannot pass without stepping onto the fireplace to peer a bit closer. Why? It’s got none of the fancy weaving of the African version, or the snappy color of the Mexican one. And it’s teensy. That lamb? It’s smaller than the size of the first segment of my index finger.

So the Virgin Mary’s nipple? It’s tiny, too. But not too small to be eternally thrilling to the inhabitants of my house.


The holidays have snuck up on me this year.  We just got the tree finished last night and I haven’t wrapped the first present.  I have purchased several, though, sticking to my tried and true rules for gifts.

I don’t know of anyone who isn’t cutting back this year, and we’re no different.  The boys are getting plenty of books and clothes (though I’m having to give Porter books early as he snarfs them up.  I’m going to get some really lengthy books to add to his pile and see if I can’t spread out my trips to the library a bit.)

We made our annual trip to Target during which the boys split up and bought presents for each other (as recounted in “Present Perfect” which you can read at the Lipstick site– or pick up a free copy at your local spa/salon/business.  Here’s a picture of the activity – this is the cart with Porter’s present in it, hidden with towels while Drew and Finn decide what else to buy for him.  Smart readers will know immediately what is hidden under here.)


If you’re still struggling for gift ideas, here’s a link to all my best ideas, including the Hall of Fame!

I’ve also hit on another series that Porter is loving – the books by Cressida Cowell, including How to Train Your Dragon and How to Be a Pirate.  She’s written tons of books and I checked out as many as I could from the library today so I could stop giving Porter books from his Christmas stash.


Last Saturday Bill and I went to a party for our dance club.  It’s a Tiny Kingdom tradition– every three years, a new dance club is formed, but the members don’t dance or do anything philanthropic.  Our Christmas party was at a friend’s house, and the house is posh.  Everything was clean and decorated and there were no piles of papers and sporting goods in the corners.  I peeked in the hostess’s bathroom and there were two walk in closets and a separate tub and shower.  The tub had no legos or inexplicable wood shavings in it, as ours often does.

I heard several people duck out early, explaining that they had another party to attend, thrown by a couple I’ll call Jemison and Mary Adair.  I don’t know Jemison and Mary Adair, but I recognized their names.  No matter.  Bill and I had a marvelous time, ending the evening with dinner with Marathon Mom and her husband.

Today I was at the sporting goods store running an errand that had NOTHING whatsoever to do with Christmas, Finn, if you are reading this, which you should not because you are in the middle of exams and should not be reading blogs on the computer.

A couple were in there shopping for Christmas, and after they called each other “Jemison” and “Mary Adair” I put on my CSI-Birmingham sunglasses and determined that they were the party-givers of the previous weekend.  Which would have been no big deal if they had not told the cashier that they had invited 400 people to their party, which made me think, “TINY Kingdom?  They had almost half a thousand people and I couldn’t even wrangle an invitation? ”

Maybe they are MUCH older than I am.  Droopy, even.

Maybe you have to do the magical elf thing with your kids to be invited.

Maybe the Kingdom is bigger than I thought.

Maybe this is a sign that it’s all well and good to be known for your sex talk, to be a vermicomposter, and to go to the Webelo Top Gun Competition, but all that doesn’t get you invited to the big galas.

But I what I really think it means is that in 2009 I need to get out more.


Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: No TV For You!


  • jenny uk

    I’ve never eve seen anything with the virgin mary breast feeding!

    My house is just like yours, all the camping stuff is in one corner of the hallway, piles of unread newspapers everywhere, just waiting to be used on the bottom of the bird cage and the bath is often full of shredded paper, saw dust and remnants of cat litter, I have to shower the bath just to take a shower, my standards dropped when I had kids and pets!

    jenny uk’s last blog post..Dumpling in his show

  • Mandy

    I think that’s a remote control Hummer H2 in the buggy. I had the pleasure of wrapping one a few days ago, and the paper didn’t fit no matter which way you rolled it out.

  • Erin Stephenson

    1. Reason would say that of course Mary breastfed, but it is oddly hilarious to me to see the Virgin Mary baring it all. But, what do you expect from a Euro nativity? You half expect Joseph to be wearing a speedo, no?

    2. Anne, Jemison & Mary Adair’s snub of you and Bill is clearly their loss, as all of your readers will I’m sure agree! You’re the most fascinating person I “know” – or whose blog I read, anyway. 🙂

    Erin Stephenson’s last blog post..Catching up on November

  • Anne Glamore

    Wait – the non-invite was NOT a snub. While I recognized the partygivers’ names, I didn’t recognize them, and I don’t usually invite strangers to my parties. (The ones I never give!) I just didn’t realize there were 400 partiers in the TK.

    I forgot to say that the reason the cashier and the partygivers were discussing this at all was that the cashier’s house had been burgled recently, and the couple was expressing sympathy, and then shared a story along the lines of “look what else weird is happening in the Kingdom” and that was the fact that the police found a man either clad only in underwear or not wearing underwear (not sure of the facts– I was still reeling from the 400 partygoers) lurking around the guests’ cars at their party. That made me REALLY sad I missed out.

  • jean

    I think Mary needs a pasty put on her nipple. I think that’s what they are called. And I’ll be honest, having said Mary and nipple in the same sentence makes me feel the need to go to confession.

  • Cassie

    I am so glad that I wasn’t drinking anything when I saw that picture, I would have just spewed it everywhere.

    That couple doesn’t know what their missing out on is all I can say about the un invite.

    Merry Christmas.

  • red_queen

    I just love reading about the adventures of the Glamore family in the TK. Takes me back to the days when I was part of the TK with deb parties and balls and such.
    I also have an older son and male twins, but mine have – thankfully – all achieved the age of majority. Now I am in law school hoping for a career change and blogging to fill those “empty” hours.
    Thanks for the light-hearted looks at motherhood and life!

  • Kelly

    This was hysterical! Only in Europe would you find a naked boob on the Blessed Virgin! I would love to know what those African one’s are made out of and how exactly they’re woven. That’s really cool.

  • Plumber

    I too live in a “tiny kingdom”, and trust me sweathart, partys that have almost half a thousand people are intended to be nothing more than a gossip fest and social compition. They are a small towns equivalent to an annual highschool reunion, and considering I was voted class clown (an award that I still to this day take pride in) I would have steared clear of such a gathering. Im very well aware of my downfalls (as per society), they make me who I am. I’ll be damned if Im going to be put down by snobby elitists who wouldn’t know fun if it bit ’em in the rear. After all, if they wanted a FUN party they’d have invited me right?

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