Many Minnesota families have at least one nativity scene in their house, one they bring out during the holiday season.
When the First United methodist Church in Redwood Falls decided to have a Nativity Festival, on Sunday, Dec. 1, the organizers put out the word.
Was there anyone willing to donate a family nativity scene to show off to the community for a day?
For everyone in the area who showed up on Sunday, the answer was yes. Families in the area — from a variety of churches — brought in over 150 nativity scenes to the Methodist Church meeting hall.
There was no charge to attend; it wasn’t a fundraiser.
“It’s just our gift to the community,” said organizer Roxanne Rossow.
One thing that became clear early on: every nativity scene came with a story.
One of the most unusual scenes was a crocheted set made by Kathryn Wilstermann, Karen Boots’ grandmother.
“Karen remembers playing with (it) when she was younger, and she was able to add it to her collection of Christmas memories when her grandmother passed away,” the program explained.
“Non-traditional elements, like a blond-haired Mary, reflect the fact that Kathryn was using up yarn scraps when she created this set.”
Gail Bielen stated about her family’s scene, “Our family has enjoyed this nativity in our home for many Christmases, and because the figurines are not breakable, young children often spend time touching them and rearranging the scene.”
Pastor Jan Redman donated a scene she purchased traveling in Mexico.
“While a bit rough and crude, like Jesus’ humble place of birth, it reminded me of the mountains that lay on one side of (San Carlos, Mexico) on the Sea of Cortes, across from Baja,” she stated.
But one of the biggest lessons to walk away from the show with was the unity of their theme. For all the fun artists and craftsmen and women have finding variations of a theme, it’s the one story its about that brings them all together.