SYBIL’S STORY BOOK CORNER: Children! Did you know that in other countries, people celebrate Christmas in a different way than we do? For instance, we all know the story of how the three wise men came from far away to the stable where Joseph and Mary had the baby Jesus in a manger and all the nice animals stood nearby with simple villagers and everyone was very quiet while the beautiful star shone overhead in the sky. But in the country of Märg Pieru, children celebrate the festival of St.Viska Mänguasi on the third Tuesday of December. The oldest girl in each household selects her favorite doll, and dresses it in leaves, grasses, twigs, and freshly baked cookies shaped like Maltese crosses and puts it into a specially carved cradle handed down in the family from generation to generation...or picked up in a garage sale down the lane. At midnight, neighbors armed with noisemakers and roving around the town in bands, bang on the door and demand to be let in to look at the holy baby. The townspeople are dressed in special costumes! Although there may be three wise men, there are other more famous characters for the sacred play including (in the middle) Joseph in the derby, and the blessed Virgin in a mantilla and bouquet of flowers.Then, clockwise from lower left, Chippy the Overly-Friendly Hobo, Mr. Millicent the Hairdresser and Friend to Lonely-Ladies-Everywhere, Klepto his Pet Monkey, Scabbo the Scratcher, Wizardene Who Makes Expensive Things Disappear, Chinee The Poking Pirate, Pow-WOW the Indian Lady Who Carries Around Someone Else's Arm As A Pointer, and finally Chee-Chee the Charcoal Briquette. Now children, be honest! Doesn't that group of visitors to the stable sound a little more interesting than OURS!?!?
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