Saturday evening was a fun one for That Household, as it was the night we had volunteered I had volunteered us to pose as Mary and Joseph in the live nativity. I painted my nails for the company Christmas party the night before and I refused to take the polish off after all of my hard work (every time I write polish I want to capitalize the P and make it Polish now, hehe), which caused That Husband to nickname me “Goth Mary” for the evening.

I highly doubt Mary had time to do her nails before she rode the donkey to Bethlehem.

The costumes did not come with any type of instructions on how to put them on, so we just guessed.

I will always have a special place in my heart for live nativites now that I was a part of one. I wish I could say I spent the entire hour thinking about the birth of the Savior and what it would have been like to be there, or how Mary must have felt, but I’m not that disciplined. I think I spent most of the time gazing at the little plastic baby, wishing it was real, and that it was mine.

The goal of this live nativity was to be as still as possible at all times to add to the mystery of “Are they real or not?” didn’t think we were that good at pretending, but we actually had a man lean down and peer in our faces and say “Please just move and show me you are real people because you are creeping me out.” The times when we were alone, and the flow of traffic was reduced got a little boring, but whenever a group of kids showed up I always failed at pretending to be a statue. The inside of my lower lip is still a little bit row in attempting to keep from smiling. I was mad that I was the one who constantly gave us away because That Husband had a bad attitude about going and doing it in the first place! The person who has a good attitude (me) should not be shown up in their acting skills by the grump (him). Not even once did we hear someone comment that he gave us away, it was always “I saw Mary blink” or “I see Mary breathing”. Hello, I have to breathe!

The hardest part came right at the end when this group of 10 kids got right up in our faces for what felt like 10 minute and had a conversation about whether we were real or not. Then a sweet little 3 year old came over to one of the plastic sheep on display and kept saying “This is my favorite sheep. I love this sheep. I want to have this sheep.” Or how about the time when the Primary kids were singing Christmas songs and the tone deaf boy somehow got positioned right in front of the microphone?

It was a huge relief when our replacements showed up (thanks for being on time replacements!) and we were able to spend some time walking around looking at the nativities on display. I tried to limit myself to including just a few of my favorites here, but I took almost 100 pictures that night because there were so many beautiful (and sometimes hilarious) nativities on display. Please visit my flickr set with all of them here, I wish I could put all 100 in this post!

I took pigs to the fair for 5 years gorwing up so I loved this one.

Moose baby Jesus.

Is this a Cabbage Patch Kids nativity set?

Bathtime fun nativity.

A really beautiful Amish set.

I loved seeing Christs birth interpreted by so many different cultures.

This is definitely one of my favorites!

I was taking a picture of this awesome set in the Jerusalem section (yep, it’s made of real Olive wood from Jerusalem!) when my friend came over and said, “Oh you like this set?” It turns out that this set belongs to them! They did study abroad in Jerusalem together (that’s how they met) and they ended up bringing home 3 of these sets total for all of their families. Turning the star on top makes it play music. I have no idea how they were able to bring so many of htem home!

Of course I was fascinated by the Polish interpretation.

This would NOT survive long at my house. I would start with the camel and do my best not to eat the baby Jesus.

Absolutely beautiful corn husk nativity.

I wanted to find a way to hide this set in my purse and take it home with me and ship it to my cowboy Grandma in Washington! How fun to think they had a little hoe-down after the birth of Christ in “cowboy Nativity land”.

I’ll end with my absolute favorite set. Something about this Eskimo nativity scene just kills me every time. Maybe it’s because Eskimo’s seem a little bit mythical to me. The whole scene just kills me with cuteness!

So many people put a lot of hard work into making this nativity come together, and it ended up being an absolutely marvelous thing to experience. I loved seeing Christs birth represented and celebrated in so many different ways by so many different types of peoples. If you live in the Dallas area and you hear of one of these happening (I guess several of the churches in the area put these on), I really encourage you to go and experience it for yourself!

I love my little dollar store nativity set, but we will be replacing it soon with a nativity from Poland! That Husband agreed that it would be a worthwhile thing to invest in, and now I just have to figure out how I am going to save enough room in my suitcase to bring it home.

Go ahead and visit my flickr set to see the rest. I’m obsessed with nativities now, and I would love to see yours if you would like to share a link to a photo of it!