Inspirations for the Nativity Sets - Donkey

My donkeys story:  I added the donkey in 2009. His story is a testament to how perfectly things work out when they are simply meant to be. In July of 2009, as I was driving to the store one day I started to think about the night Christ was born and what it was probably really like. I started to think about how quiet it must have been there. Earlier that summer we had gone "horse camping" and I remembered laying in the tent, just before falling asleep and the only sound I could hear was the horses roaming around, chewing on the grass. And I realized, that at those quiet moments in the manger they would have still had the noises of the animals. I know some people think the animals would have been aware of the miracle happening near them but I tend to think that they would have simply been living their lives, doing what animals do. And that is so peaceful to me. Peaceful is the word I keep coming back to when I think of the nativity. So at that moment I decided that I needed to add the donkey and he needed to be grazing, out in the field on his own.

So, I started working on a drawing. Just about the time I was done (in fact, I think it was the same day) I got a phone call from David (the guy who manages the people who cut the nativity parts out for me). It was weird to get a call from him in July. September thru December, I can't go 3 hours without talking to him but January thru August, we typically won't even send one email to each other. "I was thinking about your nativity Carolyn, and you have a little empty space on the sheet we cut the manger from. I think you should add a donkey". Before that moment, I hadn't even thought about fitting my donkey onto the cut sheet. But, he fit. Almost exactly. I think I had to move one of his feet ½" and cut a little of his mane off. But other than that, he almost exactly filled the space I had available.

The only problem was that he only fit on the sheet once so I only got one donkey for every two nativities that were cut out. I was very worried about that because I was sure everyone would want a donkey. But, I decided to sell him separately and just see what happened. And for each of the 3 years he's been available, I've just been amazed that I almost always end up having a donkey ordered with about half the nativities I sell. It doesn't happen evenly. I'll get 8 orders in a row without the donkey, but then I'll get 12 orders with the donkey. By the end of the season, I have always ended up about even. I just love how things work out