• Neil Allen

My Nativity Story: A Letter of Appreciation - Judith Harriman

Phillip Garding recently did our very first presentation on how to catalogue your nativities:

I asked the participants to respond to a few questions: General Comments/What did you learn? Etc.

Judith Harriman summed up the feedback and, after receiving her permission, also sent some pictures, I felt she told her story and a story most of us can related to.

Here's Judith's letter and interwoven is her nativity story.

Neil Allen - Webmaster

I learned there were lots of people with so many, many more creches than I have. That was comforting!

(In 1956 my mother gave me a small nativity (3-1/2” high) from Miles Kimball in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where she worked at the time. I have always loved the simplicity of the nativity and it will always be my favorite one.)

I have albums filled with photos and detailed information about most of my creches. I enjoyed Phillip’s presentation because it gave me additional cataloging options to consider.

(Horseshoe Nail Nativity (4” high) was made by the brother (retired welder) of a friend in Wisconsin.)

During Phillip's presentation I took screen shots of the bullets points. In the email I sent to Phillip I thanked him for the hours of preparation he had done. It was very user-friendly information.

In recent years I have been thinking about what will happen with my creches when I die. I have shown my family the creche “catalog” albums I have prepared so they will know which ones have monetary value and those with sentimental value to me. Should they be donated to my church? Might they have a silent auction fundraiser? I would be interested in what provisions other members have made or are they going to let their family members decide?

(The Nativity Storyteller (5” high) with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the three wise men, a small child and a couple of sheep was made by JoVenia from Sandia Pueblo. Sandia means watermelon. One of the wise men is carrying a watermelon. My husband purchased the nativity at Don Juan Gifts in the Sena Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico for my birthday in January of 1994. It is the most expensive nativity in my collection. )

In my Friends of the Creche folder I found the article about the organization that was sent to me at Christmas 2002 by a friend who lives in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. From the information on the pages, it was in the St. Anthony Messenger, December 2002 issue. I sent my $25 check in on January 17, 2003. How have other people heard about the organization?

I have never been able to attend a gathering so it was great to be a part of the Zoom meeting and connect a face to a name.

(Pod Nativity (3’1/2” high) was purchased by a friend attending a wedding in Budapest.)

In my home I have a glass cabinet that contains about seventy creches. (My husband insisted as many as possible be enjoyed year round. He said the creches were works of art and shouldn’t be in boxes. He passed away many years ago but every time I look at the cabinet, I am so grateful he gave me that gift.) The others are brought out and displayed for about six weeks around Christmas.

Do other members display their creches year round or are they packed away for most of the year?

Judith Harriman

(Send your responses to mail4creche@gmail.com - I will forward them to Judith)

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