GENOA – Christmas can seem like a frenzy for gifts, but to Matt Krueger the greatest gift is the one that God gave the world.
Krueger is one of more than 50 volunteers hoping to remind people about the birth of Jesus Christ through a live nativity display at Crosswind Community Church, 13100 Cherry Road, Genoa. The display features actors and animals depicting eight scenes leading up to Jesus’ birth in the manger.
“In all the hustle and bustle, I think we forget what Christmas is about,” Krueger said. “I think this is a neat way to create a memory and remember the true reason for the season.”
From 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 20, people can drive their cars through the Crosswind parking lot where they’ll see dozens of actors portraying different biblical characters including Mary and Joseph, the wise men and others. The event is free and ends with a light and music show. Children also receive a free candy cane at the end.
It’s the second year Crosswind will put on the display, though this year’s will be much livelier. Last year, the scene showing Mary and Joseph traveling with a donkey to Bethlehem, for example, was portrayed by wooden cutouts. This year, all the scenes will include actors, Crosswind Pastor James Freund said.
About 20 actors at a time will don costumes created by a member of the church, while another 20 or so wait inside until it’s their turn to act. Krueger said the only actor they might have trouble securing is a baby to portray Jesus because of the weather.
Of all the scenes, Freund said the scene in the manger is his favorite.
“Basically, that’s what Christmas is all about,” Freund said. “I hope they’re reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.”
Freund hopes to see more than the 250 cars that traveled through the display last year. Each car receives a script explaining the different scenes. After driving past the manger scene, drivers will encounter thousands of Christmas lights set to music they can hear by turning their radios to a particular station.
Krueger said it will take about 10 minutes to drive past the manger scenes and the light show.
“They get to be reminded of the gift that God gave us,” Krueger said. “And all you have to do is sit in your car.”
If you go
What: Live drive-thru nativity and Christmas light show
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 20
Where: Crosswind Community Church, 13100 Cherry Road, Genoa