but I love it! The Nativity Scene is as much a part of the Christmas tradition as snow, holly, Good King Wossisphace and Xmas puds.


we are of course diametrically removed from winter. Our Santas wear lightweight cotton red suits and their beards are the skimpiest they can get away with. Nativity 1I’ve seen Santas in sandals, how the hell they crank up that jolly smile whilst holding a sticky infant balanced on one knee beats me. That, Sir/Ma’am, is genuine ‘above and beyond the call of duty‘ …

But the Nativity Scene sets the scene and is seen everywhere. Nativity is ubiquitous and here’s just a wee sampling—sadly uncredited (I forgot to note when and where—bad dog, Santa will put coal in my water bowl instead of rum this year, I just know it).


I do know was taken in Gore, the wee church in King Street. I remember it especially for the superlative cleanliness of the devoted parents (even if the lil’ guy does seem a bit disinterested). Those whites are whiter than white—I think they missed their calling, they should have been in advertising.


is also from Gore, across the road from one of the other churches. It seems that in days of yore the pioneers took housing God seriously, He had His pick of shacks to doss down in until Sundays.

Nativity 2


I honestly don’t know—I think a Sallie Army shop somewhere. One thing I do note as I stroll the streets seeking targets of opportunity is that some folks go to a great deal of trouble whereas others couple ingenuity with goodies available at hand.


is one such. Dee Street in Invercargill. I very much admire talented people and folks who do the best they can with what they’ve got; which in this case was an arrangement and a concession to the times.

Recently there was a motorbike convention in Invercargill, ostensibly a race on the beach in honour of Burt Munro (‘The World’s Fastest Indian’)(Indian being a breed of motorbike at the time ol’ Burt did the impossible).

Nativity 3

(I’d happened across this talented craftsman when he was beavering away creating a wooden sculpture of a motorbike, sadly he was just a little out in his timing—the Convention moved on before it was completed.)


miss Christmas, as the ingenious use of articles to hand and a wee bit of imaginative improvisation shows in the fourth photo. In fact I was a bit preoccupied and only realised after I’d toddled by what it was. A quick about turn, couple of snaps then into the shop for a nosy-beak.

First up, the world’s largest doberman came over to check me out but it turned out she was also the world’s friendliest doberman—not that I’m at all nervous around dogs bigger than me. The guy was very amiable and we chatted, he has some lovely stuff in his place. There but for talent and skills would go I.

Nativity 4THE SPOUSE

is (and always was) an Elvis fan. Me, I can take him or leave him but some of his numbers do rate high on my list. His ‘You Were Always On My Mind‘ is an absolute winner. I like his ‘Dixi’ but have never found it as other than part of a compilation; sad.


the guy (John Timpany, of Solid Furnishings at 86 Dee Street) has talents and is quick off the mark. I just loved the way he recruited ol’ Elvis to the cause and fitted him in. The King, I think, would be saying “Thank you for making me a part of this” and meaning it.


to enjoy the Christmas story. Even we atheists can appreciate art when it appears—just a real pity I didn’t catch the concrete yard’s Nativity in time for this post, I’ll snap it en passant next time and give it a place of its own, even though for the last two times they’ve left out the donkey. Dammit, I liked that donkey …

a shepherd?