ARLINGTON — Diane Krieg took a step out of the frame. A friend was taking to Facebook Live to stream the nativity festival at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Smokey Point.
Krieg, 55, of Arlington, knows something about nativities. She owns around 100 sets, many of which were on display.
“It’s my way of sharing with the community,” she said.
In all, more than 600 sets were loaned to the church for the festival, which ran Dec. 8-10. This was the sixth year.
The event is meant to bring people together, and to remind them about the origins of Christmas, said Jay Schilaty, second counselor in the Arlington stake presidency, which oversees seven local LDS congregations.
“You can’t help but feel the spirit and what life’s really about,” he said.
Krieg started with one outdoor nativity, when her seven children were little. Now they’re grown and have their own nativities. She usually starts with a base set for their weddings and adds pieces every year around the holidays.
The other nativities hailed from all over the world, most borrowed from church members in Arlington, Granite Falls and north Marysville. The largest set was around three feet tall. One of the smallest was nestled inside a hollowed gourd. Other materials included porcelain, wax, license plates and Legos.
Sherilyn Woodson, 45, of Arlington, helps out every year. People like to share with her the stories behind their sets. “They will be like, ‘This was Grandma’s,’ or ‘I got this in Germany,’ ” she said.
“I have just learned to love the eclectic on the table,” she said.
Volunteer Lashaunna Hepworth brought along her daughter Emma, 12.
Their family has been involved since the festival started. This year, Lashaunna Hepworth was tasked with organizing costume changes for the live nativity.
“It’s just a wonderful event,” she said. “I like to focus on the true meaning of Christmas for our family.”
Volunteer Laurie O’Bryant shared with her a list of actors. Some had gotten taller since last year, including Emma, who was assigned the role of Mary.