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Nativity display will be largest -- and longest organized here

Posted 11/17/15 (Tue)

Nativity display will be largest -- and longest organized here

By Cecile Krimm
People will have more than a week to take in what could be the biggest display of Nativity scenes ever assembled in Crosby.
Several times over the years, Diane Anderson has organized a display of Nativity sets in conjunction with Crosby’s Christmas Stroll or at another time during the holiday season.
A collector herself, she’s become aware over the years that she is not alone in her delight at amassing more and more of the sets.
While past displays have shown a few sets belonging to others, the one planned this year will include sets belonging to Anderson and about a half dozen other collectors.
The event will be held in the basement of Concordia Lutheran Church and it will run the Friday after Thanksgiving, through the Crosby performance of the Northwest Chorus program nine days later.
“The Northwest Chorus theme this year is ‘He is Born’ so that fit really well with that theme,” said Anderson.
Anderson has well over 100 collectables that depict the Nativity in some format -- be it three dimensional figurines, a tin box, a painting -- even a puzzle, now framed. But she is encouraging others to bring theirs, too.
Anyone who has a Nativity set they would like to add to the display should call Anderson at 965-6973 to arrange a set up time.
“I’m hoping to combine several of us and have it be open to anybody,” Anderson said.
Fellow collector Judi Joyce, she said, has 100 sets of her own. Also bringing sets so far are Geralyn Johnson, Tanaya Nordstog, Doreen Schilke, Betty Sandberg  and Beverly Bummer. 
For Anderson, the sets represent a story within a story -- not only the story of Jesus’ birth, but the story of how she found or was given each of the sets in her collection.
“As I put them out I remember I got this one from so and so . . . and pretty soon, I’ve got them all out.”
While a few of the sets decorate her house year round, most reside in one of three plastic storage tubs. It’s a big job just to unpack all of them.
Anderson doesn’t mind.
“Why I like to do the display is hopefully to get people to slow down a little bit during the  holidays and reflect on why we have Christmas,” she said.
She remains amazed at just how many different types of Nativity scenes exist and how many boundaries they seem to cross.
“For me, it’s always just so amazing, how this one event, so many different depictions have been created.”
A local pastor was moved by that same kind of awe when seeing the display a few years ago.
“Father Tomy was so overwhelmed by the display and he said this should be up for more than just one day,” said Anderson.
She’s been thinking about the idea of a longer display ever since.
The display will be free and open for public viewing daily starting at 4 p.m., Nov. 27 and daily from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. until Dec. 6, which is the Northwest Chorus performance.