On Saturday afternoon, Mary Murphy and her crew were busy as bees setting up nativities in the St. Patrick’s Church hall in Railton for Sunday’s Nativities Display.
“This is our 10th year and it’s grown every year,” she said. “We have about 250 so far.
“Many of them are little ones so there’s a lot of rearranging to do.”
Murphy said they started out “very small” 10 years ago and it’s grown every year.
“We wanted to have some different from Santa, whom everyone loves,” she said.
It’s “so neat” to see all the different interpretations of the Nativity story that depicts the birth of Christ, she said.
“We have some very old ones like the one that came from my husband’s aunt that we became the caretakers of,” she said. “And Father Bill has this one from 1947.
“And we have this one from around 1830 but we can’t tell if it’s bone or ivory.”
But that’s not all.
“We have a Lego one, a puzzle one, one of all teddy bears,” she said. “We have scenes from Mexico, Chile, Austria, Kwanda and Quebec and the ladies from the Cole Lake Nativities display sent down several from their ‘permanent collection.’
“Also, the students at St. Patrick’s in Harrowsmith sent in some of their Nativity projects.
“We have some with lights, one with Charlie Brown characters and even two made from Popsicle sticks.”
Also, they always set up a kids activity table with books and “things that kids can touch and play with.”
Over the years, she’s picked up on some of the finer point of Nativity display.
“Well, the biggest crowd comes right after mass on Sunday,” she said. “But maybe the most important thing we’ve learned is to keep some of the more tempting ones at the back — out of the reach of little hands.”