Dating from circa 1954, when I was about five years old, this was my first-ever concept of the Nativity.
It was – and still is – a cheap, naively designed, gaudily and crudely painted, and indiscriminately glitter-splattered plastic product of the type of Christmas decorations that were, at the time, ubiquitously 'Made in Hong Kong'.
However, to my young eyes, it seemed – and, oddly, still seems – a simply conceived and roughly presented icon that represents the uncomplicated, yet infinitely mysterious truth at the heart of the Christmas story.
There is the Stable, the Star, Mary, Joseph, the Baby and, for good measure, a newborn lamb or two.
And the tree? Well, possibly (though certainly beyond the imagination of my five-year-old self) a symbol, in its livid greenness, of life and growth; or, perhaps, a nod to the Old Gods of the Greenwood or to the Christmas tree of our modern Western era (the forest wildness tamed and brought into our homes to die as sacrifice to the season); or, again, if not too uncomfortable a concept, an evergreen foreshadowing of the harsh-grained Wood of the Cross...?