Today was the last day of the Montgomery Interfaith Nativity. My friends were singing this evening so after the Honey-do got home from Church we spent a few moments reflecting on the day, closed out our Fast Sunday with a prayer, quickly grabbed a bite to eat and then headed out the door.
We made it just in time to support our dear friends, Lana and her Grandpa Marty, singing at 5:30 p.m. They were wonderful and absolutely charming together. It was lovely to see them, as family, working in harmony to share the Spirit of Christmas with the Interfaith community.
Then we stayed for the next performance by the Christmas Trio, a women’s trio, who sang several Christmas lullabyes.
We made it home in time to feed the dogs and watch the Christmas Devotional from home. What a lovely Sabbath day of worship through music and the spoken word.
One thing that I really love about volunteering as a hostess at the Montgomery INTERFAITH Nativity Exhibit is meeting the people who attend the event. It always is fun to watch those who hunt for the Nativity set they freely share with the community. And it is especially fun to ask them to tell their story about their Nativity set. The stories are as varied as the sets on display. Some are whimsical, some surprising, charming, delightful, and some are deeply moving and sentimentally wonderful.
Let us begin with the ceramic piece that is about 30 years old. Two daughters came with a friend and shared how their mother used to do ceramics on the table at their house. They spoke so tenderly on how this particular piece was loving made by their mother. They giggled recalling how their father could not stand the dinner table being covered with mother’s crafts and how they eventually would take things to the shop where mother would finish an item.
The woman who owns the painted Nativity wall hanging was with the aforementioned sisters. She is the Godmother to one of the sister’s daughter. You should have seen the pride and joy on her face as she lovingly spoke of that daughter’s Nativity gift to her.
Carved by a rice farmer in Laos, the man made several Nativity Sets and sold them to many Americans he knew through a church connection. He used the money to help pay for his children’s education.
The woman who owns the lovely snow globe got it from Cracker Barrell for nine dollars about eight or nine years ago. Nine dollars! A battery in the base provides the energy needed to move the snow around in the globe! How cool is that! Elegant, inexpensive and practical so those little hands in her home do not have to shake it to see it snow.
Some of my favorite conversations come from sharing these stories with others at the exhibit. Their reactions to these stories are priceless. It is as though I can see the lightbulb pop up over their heads, and see the wheels spinning in their heads. Sometimes they share a creative thought, or they get excited to seek out Nativity sets in places they never thought of before. But my favorite responses are always those jogged memories that lead to visitors sharing a personal history story.
Personal history stories are a great way to #LightTheWorld. And it easily begins with simple things like a babe, laying in a manger in a Nativity exhibit.
Here is what you need to know now: We are off and running!
VOLUNTEERS from the Faith Community share their Navivity Sets with the public for one week’s time. (See Saturday, November 18th.)
Volunteers help with the pre-display set-up, registration of the Nativities, and the take-down and clean-up of the event. Volunteer musical performances take place every hour with everything from vocal solos to bell ringers to ukulele players. Last year there was a group with bagpipe players and drums and they were marvelous.
So here is the rest of what you need to know, for now:
Monday, November 13th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
- Nativity Setup begins daily through Monday, November 27th.
- Approximately 6-8 Volunteers, with irons and ironing boards are needed daily.
Saturday, November 18th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
- Nativity Check-in begins.
- Children’s Art Submission begins.
Monday, November 20th from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Nativity Check-in continues.
- Children’s Art Submission continue.
- Nativity Designers begin daily through Monday, November 27th.
Thursday & Friday, November 23rd & 24th ~ Thanksgiving… nothing on these two days but….
- Final preparations will take place on Saturday and Monday, November 25th & 27th as needed.
TAKE DOWN BEGINS MONDAY DECEMBER 4th and runs through the 6th so I will post more about that later for several volunteers are needed then too!
There are folks who think nothing of Christmas should be seen before Halloween, but I say BRING IT ON! I love the Christmas decor, especially in the South where the seasons are not as obvious as they are up North. Of course I understand the commercialism side of not wanting to see the decor up too soon. However, knowing what the real meaning of Christmas is, it makes me ever so happy the moment the first of the fake trees or decorations or wrapping paper or whatever appears! Especially Music!
Having a ton of decorations all over my house is not my thing. I have several Nativity sets that I love to display. Normally I have them in my hutch for display year round. Last year we moved to a smaller place in another state so I only have one out now and use the rest of the space to store all of my dishes, flatware, and glassware.
That reminds me to put in a plug for the MONTGOMERY INTERFAITH NATIVITY EXHIBIT this year. It was so lovely last year. It was my first time attending the display. This year should really be lovely as members from many congregations bring their Nativity sets to share with the Montgomery community. It is an incredible display of unity where we can demonstrate that we truly are of one heart and one mind in celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The photos below are some I took from last year’s event where I volunteered to be a hostess for a few sessions. Definitely, I will be volunteering as a hostess again this year and look forward to doing so with great anticipation.
The Music Event Coordinator, my dear friend Stephanie Ladner, invited me to sing for a twenty minute segment. That is a long stretch for me as a soloist. She smiled and said she would take fifteen if I was willing.
IF I say (teeth chattering) Yes, it will probably only be for fifteen because twenty is a long time. #LookingUpSheetMusicNow