Thursday, December 14
The Great Nativity Scene Search, Part 1
At Bombay Company, Monday.
Christmas decorations everywhere--angels of all kinds and sorts, Christmas balls, more angels, even a decorative cross for some baffling reason on the back shelf. And have we mentioned the angels?
Me: Do you have a creche?
Saleswoman: Ummm. I don't think so. Let me go ask.
(She disappears into the store-room and there is much banging and some shouting, and she pops in and out of several doors and consults at least one other.)
Saleswoman: (To yet another person) Do we have what he wants?
Me: A creche?
Saleswoman: I don't think we do.
(I discover two in the store before I leave, one of which is too cutesy Martha Stewart and the other is massive, histrionically Neapolitan and $150).
At Pier 1, Monday.
More abstract Christmassy things. Lots of crystal balls and semi-tropical dried tree stuff. And mass-produced Buddha heads.
Me: Do you have Nativity scenes?
(Matt sincerely hopes the saleslady isn't going to advise him to go the movie theater next door to ask for promotional materials for the new Christmas movie.)
Me: Nativity scenes.
You know, creches.
The ones with the mangers?
(Matt begins to resort to hand gestures, and briefly considers throwing in a reference to the sixth age of mankind, the whole world being at peace, in Bethlehem of Judaea and all that... But does not, as he does not want to be taken to Bellevue.)
Saleslady: Oh, those, with the shepherds and all that stuff.
Me: (Brightening). Yeah, nativity scenes.
Saleslady: We don't have those.
At Pottery Barn, Wednesday.
Lots and lots of reindeer. Reindeer candelabras. Christmas trees, with reindeer ornaments. And candles, the fat New Agey kind.
Me: (Trying a different approach, to give a little context--and to remind them what I want is related to Christmas). So, uh, I see you've got a lot of Christmas decorations here. How about nativity scenes?
Salesman: Oh yes. Sorry, we don't actually have those.
And the search continues...