Waiting for Christmas 4

Posted in Christmas, crib, Jesus by martalorenza on December 24, 2011

Some critics have remarked that in winter it was impossible for the angels to meet any flocks and their shepherds in open country at night. Actually, in the Jewish tradition everything is subject to the rule of purity and the Jews distinguish three kinds of flocks. The first, consisting of sheep with white fleece: since they are considered pure, after grazing they are allowed to go back to their stable in the village. A second group, instead, is made up of sheep with partly white and partly black fleece: these flocks are allowed to go back to the stable at nightfall, but their shelter has to be located outside the inhabited area. In the end, a third group consists of sheep whose wool is black: those animals, considered impure, are not allowed to seek refuge either in the village or a stable, not even after nightfall. Therefore, they have to stay out in the open with their shepherds all the time, day and night, both in the winter and the summer.

That means that the sheep given to Jesus as a gift were all black. Besides, the image Jesus uses in the story of the second coming of the Son of man “he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25) refers to the evening division of mixed flocks, too, when goats, poor in fat, were divided from the sheep to be taken to their shelter.

Also Luke’s reference to the “shepherds’ watches” implies that it was a long cold wintry night (Bethlehem is located 800 meters above sea level).

Marco Tosatti, The colour of the sheep in Bethlehem

see also: Michele Loconsole, La storia conferma la nascita di Gesù il 25 dicembre

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crib time

Posted in crib, diy by martalorenza on December 14, 2011

Here is a nice little crib made of pasta and polystyrene.

“Dear Raffa, can you suggest something I can make with the children in my catechism group?”

Hurray! I’ve wanted to make a crib out of pasta for ages!


Glue; polystyrene balls; a brush; a little pen; cotton buds.

Pasta: Mezzi rigatoni and orecchiette (bodies); Farfalle (wings and the manger); Lasagne (the stable); Small pasta soup shapes Pastina tempestina e anellini (for hair); other kinds of small pasta Conchigliette, Ditalini, Capricciosa (other various decorations). 

Ask mum to let you use the open packs you have at home and only buy the ones you don’t have (this way you’ll spend less money).

 1)      Cut a farfalla into two halves and stick one to the center of another one, so as to create Jesus’ manger and halo. Stick both an orecchietta (Baby Jesus’ body) and a 1.5 cm little ball on it.

2)      To make Virgin Mary, stick a ditalino on an oreccheitta, then a second orecchietta as her cape and a 2 cm ball.

3)      The little angles are made with an orecchietta, too.

4)      For St. Joseph, the shepherds and the big angles stick a 2 cm little ball on mezzi rigatoni. Stick a farfalla and some stars to the angels and little sticks of either of capricciosa or tagliatelle to the shepherds.

5)      For the sheep, stick the top of a cotton bud on a little ball. The ears are made with either a woollen thread or a piece of cloth. For their hooves use 4 tubettini.

6)      For the hair, spread some glue with the brush and then stick on some small pasta (either anellini or tempestina). Draw the faces yourself.

7)      Make the stable with pieces of lasagna, capricciosa or rigatoni. For the base use another lasagna. Stick some stars both on the stable and on the ground. You can create a snow effect by adding a bit of sugar to some flour and sprinkling it over.  The sugar makes the flour sparkle .

 N.B. You just need a chocolate to transform an angel into a little gift!

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