We've all heard the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas," and we've all seen the traditional Christmas creche. 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's 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 broken 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.
Forgiveness is something we all need to give and receive, and A Rare Nativity opens our eyes to the act of forgiveness and the true meaning of Christmas. It's a universal message to be shared with readers of all ages. Christmas is a season for giving. Make it a forgiving season.
The photography was lovely and it was one of those books where it took a moment to figure out what was going on. It seems an odd direction to take until you arrive at your destination and then everything becomes clear in a really interesting way. I think this one would make a great gift, especially that people could read to their kids, who will get a kick out of the book's visuals and will learn from its message.