A Rare Nativity by Sam Beeson
Images by Nine & Terral Cochran
We have all heard the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, and we have all seen the traditional Christmas crèche. Now, author Sam Beeson and photographers Nina and Terral Cochran combine these two classic Christmas icons to create A Rare Nativity.
Upon reading the first lines of the book, it is clear the narrator holds a bitter grudge as he sends his enemy crude and discarded gifts: On the first night of Christmas I gave my enemy a briar from a tanglewood tree. On the second night of Christmas I gave my enemy two rotten eggs.
Night after night the gifts pile up shards of glass, rusty nails, gnarled twigs, and more. What the narrator's enemy decides to do with each of these odious gifts is nothing less than a Christmas miracle. The photographic creation of the rare nativity at the end of the book is both a work of art and a wonder to behold.
A Rare Nativity is a beautiful book with an important message on forgiveness. The 12 Days of Christmas brings to mind the song, and that isn't one that I particularly enjoy. But, the idea of sharing things with someone for 12 days is a great one for this time of year. A Rare Nativity is exactly what it says on the cover, "an unexpected twist to the 12 Days of Christmas". Instead of sharing 12 nice things with a friend, or person in need, this version shows giving garbage to an enemy.
So often we have a hard time letting go of things our "enemies" have done to us. We want to give the ugly and mean back to them, and this story, along with the photos, tells that those ugly and mean things can be made into something beautiful and meaningful. We need to open our hearts to forgive those who have caused us to hurt.
We read this book as a family, and I think it touched each of us. The story itself is a great one, but the images really helped the message sink in. I'm happy to add this to my Christmas collection.
Author: Sam Beeson
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Published: September 2015
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Purchase: Amazon | IndieBound