NORTH LOGAN – Nativity displays can be found in homes, yards and in front of Christian churches. Even some stores display them as a popular reminder of the reason for Christmas.
Anne Neville has a large collection of Nativities she put on display for the public to see.
“Christmas begins with Christ” nativity show will be held from today Dec. 1 until Dec. 3, from Noon to 9 p.m. and Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint building located at1104 East 2100 North in North Logan.
Neville claims she has over 1,000 nativities from over 130 countries and all 50 states on display for everyone to enjoy. Coloring sheets for children will also be available and the event is free for anyone to attend.
The tables at the church are all covered with fabric and the sea of scenes representing the birth of Jesus with Mary, Joseph, wise men, shepherds, animals and a star.
“I have Creches from 130 different countries and all 50 states,” she said. “I started to collect them 14 years ago.”
The retired Idaho schoolteacher said her husband, also a retired schoolteacher, bought a 6,000 square foot house in North Logan so she could display the nativities in their home.
“My husband bought me a saw for Christmas one year and I have worn it out building shelves for my displays,” she said. “I have learned a lot by trying to display them including how to build shelves, bookcases and a lot of other things so I can put them where people can see them.”
She has separated the panoramas into categories. Some are made of wood, stone, seashells, wire, metal, glass, stained glass, fabric and more. Some are intricately carved and painted while others are rough representations of the momentous event.
“I started putting them out Monday evening and worked all night organizing and putting them out,” she said Tuesday. “I collapsed on the floor this afternoon. My daughter-in-law Pam brought me a sandwich so I’m good for a while longer.”
She said the show would be ready for the noon Wednesday opening. With that many nativities there are bound to be some real unusual ones.
“Look at this one made out of rough wood from Louisiana,” Neville said. “It has alligators instead of sheep and the wise men are musicians.”
Then she picked up another carved inside of a tree branch.
“Isn’t this one fun? It’s from Colorado,” she said while holding it in her hand. “It was carved into an aspen tree branch and it has a poem pasted to it.”
She also highlighted the nativity from Utah made of bee’s wax.
The mother of six grown children said her favorite Creche was one she made 50 years ago with her family. It is all white and she hadn’t unpacked it yet.
“I’ve read books about nativities and written articles about them for a group I belong to, the Friends of Creche,” she said. “I have made over 100 of them by myself.”
Her daughter-in-law Pam said it’s not unusual to see Neville with a spray can in one hand, a glue gun in the other putting a nativity together during the Christmas season.
“I really have a deep love for the Savior and I thought this might be a way to show it,” Neville said. “I hope everyone will come to the show.”