Kneeling on the living room rug, I open the large cardboard box and plunge my hands into a pearly froth of Styrofoam packing. I am searching for treasure, heirlooms handed down to me from my parents.
My hand closes on something solid and cool to the touch. I pull it from the protective billows and remove a layer of bubble wrap to reveal a ceramic shepherd. Placing him gently on the sofa, I reach in to find more: a kneeling camel, a wise man holding a golden box in his outstretched hands, Mary, Joseph, the manger, two standing camels, some sheep, more wise men and shepherds, the angel, her fragile wings wrapped in an extra layer of padding. Soon the cast is complete.