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  • Writer's pictureNeil Allen

My Nativity: Teri Groff tells her story

I started collecting in 1951. I was give a wonderful Baby Jesus and then started the endless search for figures to enhance the telling of the Nativity Story.

Mary and Joseph were made in Mexico in 1971.

Then 7 sets of Kings later (due to size and scale)...

...and shepherds were added

I expanded my Town of Bethlehem to 4'X27'. The figures are 12 inches.

Of course the 7 camels are large and the big elephant is 22 inches tall with rider and 29 inches long (27 lbs!). HEAVY.

I try to set up the the town according to Jesus' miracle les: the wedding feast at Cana with water into wine...

I have been blessed to have a husband who would travel hundreds of miles to find another figure to add to my collection, now over `1600 pieces.

I use the camel from the Dublin FOTC convention to compete Herods Palace scene. I use the baskets of was cheeses, veggies, and mushrooms that bout that Cincinnati FOTC convention to complete the opulence and abundance of the 3 Kings camp.

They each have a family symbolism: bread to remember my daily trips to the bakery with my grandfather. The mushrooms sttymbolize mushroom hunting with my new father and the money was still in his jacket pocket after tromping through the woods of mushrooms. The cheeses remind me of my husband saying I never used enough cheese in my cooking.

The 2020 Nativity will be setup until at least April.

When children visit I give them a quiz to count the cats and dongs, and find the eagles nest.. I ask them what does not belong (carrots, pumpkins, and barrels of pickles, buffalo and bear.

The quiz encourages them to actually see what they are looking at, encourages powers of observation , because as my priest said, "It's a visual information overload,."

God Bless

Teri Groff

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