A quick trip to Bethlehem / Un viaje rápido a Belén

I HAD AN APPOINTMENT WITH my ophthalmologist this morning. A minor repair that I’ll tell you about some other time. Nothing serious and all is well, but it threw off the day and caused us both a bit of stress despite the lack of urgency. My vision is now perfect after months of being more and more of a blur.

It’s late. So, I’ll just share with you my recent trip to Bethlehem. I’ve never actually been there and it really isn’t a place I have much interest in visiting, but I do love when the nativity scenes appear all over town (Sevilla’s displays were exceptional). In Spanish, a nativity scene is called a belén, which means Bethlehem.

Of course, this year the large belenes have been cancelled so as not to encourage crowds. But my favourite little shop downtown still has their window display — although even that was more restrained. Click here to see my introduction to the shop in 2013. And see below for this year’s window.

My only Christmas decoration this year is a little felt Santa Claus that Alicia attached to the wrapping on my orchid (click here). The orchid is temporarily on the dining room table while Marisa restores our pub table. I placed Santa on the edge of the orchid pot and found him on the floor by the sofa the next morning. Somebody had a good time. Moose? So, Santa now sits on a shelf in my office (unseen and unloved).

I’m considering changing my blogging schedule to evenings. I’ve been spending too many mornings attached to my computer, and that’s not good for my mental health. So, this may be the start of something new.


TENÍA UNA CITA CON EL oftalmólogo esta mañana. Una reparación menor de la que te hablaré en otro momento. Nada grave y todo está bien, pero nos echó a perder el día y nos causó un poco de estrés a los dos a pesar de la falta de urgencia. Mi visión ahora es perfecta después de meses de estar cada vez más borrosa.

Ya es tarde. Entonces, solo compartiré con ustedes mi reciente viaje a Belén. En realidad, nunca he estado allí y realmente no es un lugar que tenga mucho interés en visitar, pero me encanta cuando los belenes aparecen por toda la ciudad (las exhibiciones de Sevilla fueron excepcionales).

Por supuesto, este año se han cancelado los grandes belenes para no animar a las multitudes. Pero mi pequeña tienda favorita en el centro (haz clic aquí) todavía tiene su escaparate, aunque incluso eso era más moderado. Disfruta del escaparate. Haga clic aquí para ver mi introducción a la tienda en 2013.

Mi única decoración navideña de este año es un pequeño Papá Noel de fieltro que Alicia (haz clic aquí) adjuntó al envoltorio de mi orquídea. La orquídea está temporalmente en la mesa del comedor mientras Marisa restaura nuestra mesa de pub. Coloqué a Santa en el borde de la maceta de orquídeas y lo encontré junto al sofá a la mañana siguiente. Alguien la pasó bien. ¿Alce? Entonces, Santa ahora se sienta en un estante en mi oficina (sin ser visto ni amado).

Estoy considerando cambiar mi horario de blogs a las tardes. He pasado demasiadas mañanas conectado a mi computadora. Entonces, este puede ser el comienzo de algo nuevo.

Santa was removed without disturbing the candle sticks or San Geraldo’s papers.
Papá Noel fue sacado sin tocar los candelabros ni los papeles de San Geraldo.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

31 thoughts on “A quick trip to Bethlehem / Un viaje rápido a Belén”

  1. I think the schedule change is great! Plus you will get comments right away because people are up in the States. I think the City museum by the town hall is open and displaying belenes too from schools. The recycled ones. That place is mostly empty, especially when it opens. Glad to hear your eye is seeing! Beckett is teething over here. Rebecca, hear my prayer!

    1. Kathleen:
      Oh, poor Beckett. (Not to mention the rest of you.) The recycled school belenes don’t warrant another look (in my book). I do miss the one in front of Hotel Consistorial. Maybe next year I’ll get into Málaga and see a bunch of them.

  2. The hustle and bustle of a biblical city. Now wonder Joseph and Mary had a hard time finding lodgings. The place was probably booked weeks in advance!

  3. Evening sounds like good time to write a blog post – at least while you are still under curfew and not eating dinner out! Might be a challenge when things loosen up again. I bet Moose was just checking to make sure Santa was covid-free. Wonderful photos of the details of the belén. Must be truly entrancing to see them in person.

    1. Wilma:
      The work that goes into these belenes is astounding. I’m often tempted to start a collection of my own. But then… the cats. And I’m grateful to the cats in this case.

  4. I always love when you feature this Mitchell…Thank you. And yes….switch things up…..it always good to do that. I have the same issue. You get on…and then where has the day gone.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      I was out of the house for some exploring before noon today… with San Geraldo! In a few hours, I sit down and write today’s blog. I hope I can stick to this.

  5. do what you feel is right. and poor santa; perhaps attach him to the fridge high up? silly kitties.

    1. anne marie:
      Santa came with a sticky pad on back — no magnet. The stick pad is gone (well I found it and through it away). As for putting him on the fridge (sticky pad, magnet, or whatever), stuff on the fridge puts my borderline OCD into overdrive. Our fridge exterior is bare. Random things on it make me crazy. Chuck collects magnets and every square inch of his refrigerator is covered. My mother also covered her refrigerator with stuff. It made me a little nuts. Even in friends’ homes I can’t help myself. I straighten and rearrange everything. It’s awful. Children’s magnetic alphabets? If they haven’t made words, I sort the letters alphabetically and break them into neat rows. It’s awful.

  6. Love the belén display. Such artistry.

    I know Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, but I thought Santa was a little more fleet of foot…except, perhaps, when under cat paws?

    Glad the eye situation was resolved for the time being. Nothing quite as frightening as vision issues–especially for those of us who love to read and write. I have to see a retinal specialist on a regular basis to keep track of an issue. Also keep an Amsler grid tacked up next to my desk to do regular tests ensuring my vision is (mostly) copacetic.

    1. Mary:
      This was a minor fix that I knew was needed, but I had planned to do it 9 months ago (covid!!!). My vision had gotten awful. Today, it’s wonderful again. I don’t expect any more problems. Then again, I didn’t EXPECT a torn retina in 2016 and a detached one in 2018!

  7. What a nativity display! I’m glad your blur is gone. Dogs and cats love Santa Paw. I used to have a dog who stole several of my favorite decorations and gave them a big chew.


    1. Janie:
      I really do miss our tree, although I didn’t have it in me to even put out a few decorations on tables. These cats think everything is here for them. A narrow box of dried reeds (I’ll share soon) arrived today. Dudo was on his hind legs to see what I had. Moose followed me around. I put the box on my office floor so they can enjoy it for a bit before I recycle it. It’s all about them. And here I always thought it was all about me.

  8. Poor man-handled little Santa! Or should that be moose-handled? And hey, why is Dudo not a suspect?

    1. Debra:
      Yeah, it might have been Dudo. Moose spends more time on the dining room table (where they’re not allowed to go). But Dudo doesn’t miss anything. They each blame the other, so I won’t know unless I catch him in the act.

  9. Set up a display, with cows, and sheep, and camels, and the kitties will probably leave Santa alone.

    1. David:
      Well, they’d have a ball with the cows and sheep and camels, but they wouldn’t save Santa. I attached a scratching pad to a wall so they wouldn’t scratch the chair next to it. They would scratch on the wall and THEN on the chair.

    1. Urpso:
      I noticed myself getting anxious each morning as I tried to read and comment, reply, and write my daily blog, so I could do other things. SInce I enjoy doing it all, I thought a change might help. Today has been good.

    1. Denis:
      The electric caganer with the outhouse door that opens and closes wasn’t there. No moving parts this time. And I looked but couldn’t find a caganer squatting behind a bush.

  10. I love the oh-so-little-town-of-Bethlehem!
    I tend to be a morning blogger, though when and if the schedule goes back to anything close to normal, that may change!

    1. Bob:
      I don’t like sleeping late because I feel like I’ve missed something. But my mood tends to be more consistently “up” in the evening. It tends to be rough and a bit of a battle when I first wake up — which is why I don’t really like taking siestas; it’s like starting the day again and convincing myself it’s worth being alive.

  11. For a “restrained” display, it still has a marvelous amount of detail. Cute Santa — but I could see how it would make the perfect temptation for a cat. I’ll be interested to hear how you like evening blogging. I gotta stick with mornings — otherwise it would interfere with my cocktail time!

    1. Steve:
      Well, today I suppose it was afternoon blogging. Still, all that matters was that I got out of the house before noon! And it was fun (that’s for another blog).

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