It's subtle, but behind the Nativity scenes that fill six rooms of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northwest Oklahoma City hides a challenge: Find a medium, a style or even a cultural interpretation of the manger scene that isn't already on display.
The catch? Bragging rights will not be bestowed unless you bring it in next year and donate it to the collection.
The “Glory to the Newborn King” collection contains more than 600 pieces.
“We wanted to do something that would demonstrate our belief in the Savior,” explained Paul Baclawski, a senior church leader. “We do a lot of stuff as a church and this is a way to reach out to other faiths and have them enjoy the season with us.”
Most of the scenes on display are traditional dioramas, but even those are varied. In some, the manger is as weightless as a computer chip, tucked inside a tiny water globe or Christmas ornament.
Others are quite expansive, both in set size and in scope, including one that features five different buildings and dozens of nameless residents who must have lived and worked in Bethlehem.
Most are traditional, but some are not, such as a Lego scene, created by a 9-year-old member of the congregation, or the adjacent “Peanuts”-themed scene, featuring Woodstock wrapped in swaddling clothes and Snoopy as a lamb witness.
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