Saturday afternoon was Christmas decoration time at my church. While one group hauled out tinsel and lights from previous years, some made silver foil stars to hang from the ceiling and everyone else worked on a large frieze based on the nativity.

Somehow, the frieze ended up being my responsibility. The process was more chaotic than coherent, more organic than organised. The result was neither neat, tidy nor historically accurate, with its pinkish stars and yellow sheep, its spangly silver donkey and a baby Jesus “who’s crying because his Mummy has gone to the beach without him”.

Our frieze will win no prizes – despite lashings of glitter glue and the phrase ‘Heaven can’t wait’ cut out of a magazine and stuck above the heads of a chorus of angels – but it is expressive of the community that created it, of children and adults connected to every continent who came together to cut and paint and stick one December afternoon.

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