FORT MILL -- It turned out to be a merry Christmas at the Totherow household after all.
Whoever stole the baby Jesus and one of her Wise Men from the manger scene outside the family's home the day before Christmas Eve returned them by Christmas morning.
"I went to bring some trash out to our yard Christmas morning, and there they were," Sarah Totherow said this week. "They didn't put them back where they were, but on the side. They must have laid them down and run off."
The Totherows were out on Christmas Eve, and when they got home around 10 p.m., the figures still were missing.
"I've lived here so many years and never had anything like this before," said Totherow, who lives on Old Nation Road. "I hope, whoever did this, every time they shut their eyes they would see Jesus."
Totherow has set up a crèche every year in her yard for as long as she can remember. The two stolen figures couldn't be replaced, she said, because she bought them four or five years ago from Carolina Pottery before it closed. She's had other crèche figures in the past, but these were bigger than her previous figures.
"They weren't cheap, either," she said.
Usually, Totherow set up her manger in the middle of her yard; This year, she put it only a few feet from her front porch.
"Someone had to come all the way up to the house to do it," she said.
Neither the Fort Mill Police Department nor the York County Sheriff's Office have received reports about stolen crèche figures this year, according to employees who answered the phones at the law enforcement agencies.
None of Totherow's neighbors have lost any of their holiday decorations, she said.
"It's bad when you've got to put cameras up all over outside, but it's getting to that point," she said. "I'm just glad they didn't damage anything."
She also is glad to have her prized figures returned.
"You can never replace them," she said.