The Nativity Festival

The LDS congregations out by the Seattle Temple have been doing this amazing over-the-top activity for the last few years called the Festival of the Nativities.  It lasts four consecutive evenings.  Last year I went and forgot a camera, and kicked myself afterwards because my verbal descriptions weren’t adequate in portraying said festival’s over-the-top-ness.

It’s essentially Seattle’s “Christmas on Temple Square,” intended for the general public to attend.  I know many of you have been to “nativity festivals” in your wards and stakes, but trust me: DID IT INVOLVE A DISCO BALL IN THE CHAPEL?  If not, then YOUR ACTIVITY WAS NOT THE SAME.

The disco ball was to provide a “falling snow” lighting effect over the ongoing live music, okay?

And the hallways!  Even the hallways were gussied up!  Who decorates a church hallway?

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Who paints murals so the “Children’s Nativity Room” has a completely different look and feel from the main exhibits?

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And let’s not forget the beautiful “Christ Room,” with an art gallery/diorama display with scenes from the Savior’s life.  Here’s Wim & Katie in front of the “manger.”

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And here they are peering down into the “tomb.”  One of the festival hosts told me that this is the baptismal font on non-festival days.

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There was also a “Movie Room” where guests could watch LDS-produced Christmas films, a children’s craft room, and a photo booth where families could dress up as Nativity characters and get a picture taken.

The plan was for all the kids to be in the picture, but Eleanor was off doing a scavenger hunt with a friend.  Then Katie saw the Wise Men crowns and insisted on wearing one (“I the QUEEN!” ).  So guess who had to be Mary?

Nativity Festival

Yeah, that’s something I hope to never do again.

And of course . . . the main nativity exhibit.  Katie was especially interested in the “living” one with a real baby:

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Eleanor and her friend posed in front of this giant version of the old pop-up that used to come with Primary manuals when I was a kid:

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Meanwhile, William and I spent time finding and taking pictures of our personal favorites.  Here’s what we picked out:

Poland, made from colored metal
Poland, made from colored metal
Poland again
Poland again
USA, I believe?  I just thought it was gorgeous.
USA, I believe? I just thought it was gorgeous.
Kenya.  The figures are made from bullet casings.
Kenya. The figures are made from bullet casings.
This one's from Japan, made from folded origami paper.
This one’s from Japan, made from folded origami paper.

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