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More than 1,000 Nativities on display in Michigan

Latter-day Saints invite others to ‘come and see’ the Midland Nativity Exhibit’s 26th year

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Children view Nativities on display in the Midland Michigan Stake center. The Midland Nativity Exhibit runs Dec. 2-4, 2022.

Eve Tuft Photography


More than 1,000 Nativities on display in Michigan

Latter-day Saints invite others to ‘come and see’ the Midland Nativity Exhibit’s 26th year

rnm1_UtI.jpeg

Children view Nativities on display in the Midland Michigan Stake center. The Midland Nativity Exhibit runs Dec. 2-4, 2022.

Eve Tuft Photography

A Christ-centered community interfaith event is back this weekend in Midland, Michigan, with more than 1,000 Nativities on display for the 26th year.

The representations of Christ’s birth come in all shapes, sizes, materials and countries — and each with its own depiction of the Nativity story. They are arranged by theme throughout the Midland Michigan Stake center in 11 rooms or areas.  All rooms are decorated and lighted by lamps and twinkle lights, with artwork of Jesus Christ on the walls or tables as well.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spend hours planning, preparing and participating in the event, which takes place each year the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend. This year it runs Dec. 2, 3 and 4.

It is one of the largest “come and see” events for the Church in Michigan, inviting anyone in the community to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, come to the stake center and remember the true meaning of Christmas — the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ.

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Children view Nativities on display in the Midland Michigan Stake center. The Midland Nativity Exhibit runs Dec. 2-4, 2022.

Eve Tuft Photography

Each year, organizers send letters of invitation to leaders of the other faith congregations in the city, and several announce it from their pulpits or include an announcement in their own church programs. 

Midland Nativity Exhibit committee member Barbara Keil said last year the committee received two handwritten notes from local pastors thanking it for this gift to the community.

Another committee member, Melissa Wall, has been involved for many years as the exhibit has grown. 

“There’s something about the spirit of the work and the spirit of the building, not just the nativities,” she said. It’s working together and rubbing shoulders with everyone. The week that goes into it is a really tender experience.” 

Members of the Midland 1st Ward and Midland 2nd Ward — who meet at the building — take turns scrubbing toilets or sweeping floors or fluffing the decorative trees. “They show up and ask, ‘What can I do?’” Wall said. “They put their lives on hold for moments that others may not see. Those small moments remind us of why we do it.”

The event has become a family tradition for many people over the years. Wall told of meeting a mother walking into the building with her teenage daughter in December 2021, and the girl was emotional because the event had been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic the year before. The mother and daughter had always attended together, going back to when the daughter was a baby in a stroller.

See below for more pictures of the displays and find out more information about the Midland Nativity Exhibit on its Facebook page.

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Thousands of Nativities are on display among lamps and lights at the Midland Michigan Stake center. The event lasts Dec. 2-4, 2022.

Eve Tuft Photography

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A Nativity is displayed in the Midland Michigan Stake center. This year’s event lasts Dec. 2-4, 2022.

Eve Tuft Photography

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White porcelain Nativity figures are displayed on tables in the Midland Michigan Stake center, Dec. 2-4, 2022.

Eve Tuft Photography

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Colorful Nativities of different materials are included in the Midland Nativity Exhibit in Midland, Michigan, Dec. 2-4, 2022.

Eve Tuft Photography

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A carved wooden Nativity scene from Germany rests in the foreground of a larger display in the Midland Michigan Stake center. The exhibit runs Dec. 2-4, 2022.

Eve Tuft Photography

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Thousands of Nativities are on display among lamps and lights in the Midland Michigan Stake center. The event lasts Dec. 2-4, 2022.

Eve Tuft Photography

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