Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 12: The Donk

Story to follow.....

In the summer of 2009 Peter & I were fortunate enough to travel to Europe.  I had been dreaming about the trip for a couple of years and there were so many places that I wanted to visit.  My fascination with Europe began in grade school when I read a number of books about WWII.  Most of the books were about children and London and it wasn't until High School that I really understood the reality of the war, the Holocaust and the tragic stories that go along with it.

One of my favorite authors is a husband and wife team, Brock & Bodie Thoene.  They write incredible historical fiction.  It is very accurate but the stories they weave capture your heart.  Two of their series, the Zion Chronicles & The Zion Covenant were favorites of mine in high school.  Last year I got the Covenant series for Christmas and re-read all 9 of them.  They focus on a violinist in the Vienna Philharmonic that has an encounter with an American journalist.  The sub-plots are all intertwined with these two characters and the scenes take place all over Nazi-occupied Europe; Paris, Vienna, Berlin, the Tylrol etc. 

In one of the scenes (without giving too much away because if you are a reader you really should read these books!!) Eliza, the violinist, meets a woodcarver from the Tyrol region of Austria.  This area was and still is known for it's beautiful wood carving and the woodcarver fashions an angel that looks just like Eliza.

When we started planning our trip I knew we had to go to the Tyrol region of Austria!  I decided that instead of getting little trinkets all over Europe that we would buy a hand carved nativity set so that each year we could remember our trip.

While in Austria we visited the town of Oberammergau, known for it's Passion play at Easter and it's wood carving.  We decided on a stall and were going to purchase Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus.  We decided each year at Christmas we would add to the nativity set until it was complete.

The woman selling to us was very persistent.  She felt it was VERY important that we get the three wise men.  The language barrier prevented us from telling her why we didn't really want to start out our collection with just the three wise men so finally we agreed to purchase the cow and "the donk".  She was adamant about that too.  We NEEDED "the donk" to make our nativity complete.

So now we have Mary, Joseph, Jesus, a cow and "the donk" up in our nativity.  I think we'll be adding a couple of shepherds this year and maybe a sheep.  But everytime I look at it I can't help but this of the persistent German saleswoman who believes that a nativity isn't complete without 3 wise men and a "donk".

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