Year of the Ox

Japanese folk art cow bells

My Christmas decorations tend toward the eclectic. I’ve always collected old-fashioned toys and when I lived in Japan, I hunted down folk toys wherever I went. These three cows/oxen are actually clay bells, literally cow bells but not what we think of when we use the term.

This year, for the first time, I put them in the nativity creche that my father carved for me. How appropriate, then, to discover that 2009 is the year of the ox.