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Christmas classics . . . Vicar of Waimate district the Rev Indrea Alexander shows off some of the nativity sets that will feature in an exhibition at St Augustine's Church in Waimate. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Claire Allison

Families, groups and individuals are getting ready to display their nativity sets in a Christmas nativity exhibition at St Augustine’s Church in Waimate from December 9-16.

Vicar of Waimate district the Rev Indrea Alexander said the nativity scenes came in all shapes, sizes and materials, including wooden, ceramic, knitted, stained glass and pottery, and they often reflected the ethnicity of the artist.

“Some people own heritage nativity sets, some have bought them when travelling overseas, and other people make their own.

“This is a chance for them to let others enjoy them.

“We are hoping the exhibition will give a wonderfully diverse taste of Christmas.”

A special category in the exhibition is “shoebox nativities” and some children and adults are adding nativity scenes inside a shoebox to enter in the display.

Christmas nativity scenes, also known as manger scenes or Christmas cribs, depict the setting where Jesus was born on the first Christmas about 2000 years ago.

It is understood to have been a barn or cave where animals were housed.

The central figure in a nativity scene is the baby Jesus, usually with his mother, Mary, and her husband, Joseph, sometimes accompanied by figures depicting visiting shepherds, wise men bearing special gifts, and angels.

Some nativity scenes simply show the baby Jesus surrounded by barn animals.

Mrs Alexander said nativity scenes could be brought along and set up on Sunday, December 8, between noon and 3pm. The exhibition will be open each weekday from 2pm-5pm and all day on Saturday, December 14.