Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wistful Wednesday: 1991 Live Nativity

Back in 1991 Far Guy and I were both on the Evangelism Committee at the church.  As a community outreach program I spearheaded a Live Nativity.   A crèche was built  and set up on the church lawn  snow bank.  I asked the congregation to donate fabrics, we bought some patterns and a few ladies sewed costumes.  My mother and Naomi sewed a lot that year…costumes for shepherds, kings and angels all sizes.  The congregation was asked to bring cookies and the bell choir played while you had cookies and coffee in the social hall.

Live nativity 1991

This was the crèche indoors.  Groups of people were guided through and sang a verse or two of a Christmas carol at each “station.”  It helped to have choir members be leaders!  I don’t recall how many stations we had..Mary getting the news, shepherds watching their flocks by night, Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem, the Kings and the manger scene…and there may have been more.

Outside we had shepherds and Mary and Joseph in the crèche.  It was cold outside. Sometimes we would sing to keep warm. Cars would honk and people would drive by slowly...the church is right along the highway. 

It was a fun event.  The next year we had some sheep and a calf outside.  AND an Llama and all four of our Shelties inside..as the shepherds needed sheepdogs!

Far Guy and I were shepherds both years.   Trica played with the bell choir.  Jennifer filled in wherever I needed her…I think she was a Mary one year. ( I am getting older and cannot remember everything.)

gene is a Shepherd and Trica 1991

Far Guy makes a fine looking shepherd… he is drinking coffee.

I think we did The Live Nativity for three years improving as it went along.  People would talk about it and look forward to it.  I always felt good about it…doing something to bring the Christmas Story and the birth of our Savior front and center where it belongs at Christmas time.

Have you every been to a Live Nativity? 

Christmas 1991

This is Christmas 1991, Me holding Captain and Moses, Jennifer holding Misty and G’Day Mate is escaping, Trica holding Caramel one of four cats we had back then and the Far Guy in the back.  I still have that same Angel on top of our tree!  ( Misty and Moses were the parents of Captain and G’Day Mate). Jennifer would have been 16 that year and Trica 19. We lived at the resort back then..that striped carpet was something else…but it matched everything.  That house was something else too…but we had some good times there and it was a good place to raise teenage daughters.

Doing something as a group…a family activity like the Live Nativity was a good thing.  I am not certain how fondly the girls remember it…but they were supportive and showed up to do their part.

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25 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I have never seen a live nativity.

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  2. What a great idea for a church group. I have never seen a live Nativity but would love to some day. You were so brave to do this in your colder climate.

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  3. I second that, what a great idea, love that, Blessings Francine.

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  4. I saw a live Nativity once, long ago, and you have reminded me of it for the first time in ages. I was never in one, though. Love that 1991 picture of the family and the furry ones. :-)

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  5. I was planning to take a couple of sheep to our evening carols program at church this Sunday, but it's supposed to rain solid for the entire weekend :-/. But be in the 60's so I guess you'd be for that!

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  6. What fun to see your pictures. The live Nativity sounds wonderful, but it also sounds like a lot of work to coordinate it all. Your community was lucky to have such dedicated folks.

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  7. Looks like the true meaning of Christmas. I was in the church pageant for years when I was a child, 'cause my mom was a Sunday School teacher. Today our church holds a Cantata put on by the children. It was on Sunday.

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  8. Bringin' back memories ~ Love the picture ~

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  9. I love this post: it shows that a project needs LOTS of people behind the scenes as well as in the spotlight to to be successful. I hope the church still hosts the live Nativity. Love the photos.

    One of the churches in the country has a drive-by live Nativity. Sadly, I've never gone.

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  10. I have not seen a live Nativity. I do love Christmas Carolers and we have them at work. Yes, they are children and they make me smile! I would like to see (hear) more carolers roaming neighborhoods...that was such a neat tradition!

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  11. Great post… I worked for a church for about 25 years. Our church in Texas had something VERY similar to your church.. They called it a "Walk through Bethlehem".. They had different booths -with people dressed up as Bible characters (doing things like a Fish Market, Basketmaker, etc.) They had the animals and some shepherds outside greeting people as they came --and the rest was done in the huge Fellowship Hall inside… People could participate in making baskets, etc. in the booths --so it was a very educational event, especially for children. They ended by stopping by to see Mary and Joseph and the Baby Jesus… VERY well-done… TONS of people would go through Bethlehem… I usually ended up in the Basket Booth… It was fun teaching kids how to weave baskets… Another highlight was having one of my grandchildren being the Baby Jesus one year. Special!!!!!

    I raised 3 sons who are now a little older than your kids… My oldest is 50, middle one is 43 and youngest is 42…. I have 5 grandchildren --one in college now!!!! Yipes.. They do grow up very fast.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  12. I have been to one live Nativity and enjoyed it very much. Too often the reason for Christmas is forgotten.

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  13. We have a church in Des Moines that raises camels and other non Iowan animals to use in their nativity scene. It makes the news of course when all the camels are included and I think they use llamas too. Very good memories for sure.

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  14. Our church did a living nativity one year, but it was tons of work. It ran from three outdoor points and led into the church, which served as the manger.

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  15. I enjoyed reading this post. Lots of work to put it on but so wonderful to act out the true meaning of Christmas. A very blessed Christmas to you and your family.
    Phyl P.

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  16. What a wonderful idea about the stations inside! I've never heard of that but it sounds wonderful. A great family activity too. Living at the resort sounds fun but I'm sure it was a lot of work too. They have quite a few live nativities down here...easy for them....give me one up North where it's freezing and that's sacrifice! I rang the bells for the Salvation Army and it was C O L D up there.
    One year my son was supposed to be a sheperd (he was pretty young) and he started howling in the house and I went to see what the problem was and he said he was practicing his part. He thought he was supposed to be a German Sheperd. We still laugh about that one! You can tell we are dog people. Hope your Christmas is coming along. I decided today I'm going to enjoy it even if I don't get those presents out on time....I'm just going to enjoy the process. TTYL!

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  17. Satisfaction is what it's all about. You did something and were highly satisfied with it. Good times! Good memories.

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  18. I went to a live Nativity years ago and enjoyed it very much . Lovely photos and memories . Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

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  19. I've seen a few over the years. And it is always sooooo cold outside. There is a camel that lives here in the valley. -- apparently he's been making appearances at kids programs this past week.

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  20. I have never seem a live Nativity. Gosh, you do a lot! You get so much accomplished! And, still write great posts!

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  21. I remember being in church Christmas pageants when I was a . I clearly remember being the angel announcing the birth one year.

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  22. I've never seen a live Nativity scene, but I have been in my fair share of Christmas plays. No matter how you stack it, those kinds of projects are a lot of work!

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  23. When we lived up on the Canadian border, our church did a live nativity in a barn every year. One year when my daughter was 3 months old, we were asked to play the Holy Family, with me riding into the barn (side saddle!) carrying the baby. It was freezing cold and I was terrified I would slide off this giant horse and drop my baby! I remember sitting on a hay bale manger while the congregation was singing and looking at the puffs of vaporized breath hovering over each singing face.

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  24. What wonderful memories! I know I saw a live nativity once, but for the life of me can't remember where or when. You're not the only one who doesn't remember everything anymore--LOL! ;)

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  25. Our Church had a live nativity one year, I lived near Lac Ste. Anne where there is a huge outdoor shrine where the Mass was held; first we had a bonfire outside the actual church, a tiny historic building, and everyone sang carols, the natives played their drums and sang some carols in the Cree language, then we all proceeded to the Shrine for the Mass and live nativity. Father Wes played Joy to the World on the trumpet as we proceeded- it was so cold out that his lips were freezing, but he managed to play! The live Nativity had the Holy Family, some sheep and a recalcitrant donkey, and the water for the Consecration had ice on it- but it was one of the best Christmasses ever for me.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie