Live Nativity scenes
Hope Crossings church
When: 7 and 8 p.m. nightly from Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 14, weather permitting
Where: 2106 Old Pendergrass Road, Jefferson
How much: Free
Cross Pointe Church at Lanier Islands’ Magical Lights tour
When: 7-10 p.m. daily through Dec. 23; shows every 30 minutes, rain or shine
Where: 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford
How much: $45 per car, $36 online at www.lanierislands.com; coupons at participating Publix, Quick Trip and McDonalds locations.
Corinth Baptist Church
When: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 10-11
Where: 3590 Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville.
How much: Free
Redwine United Methodist Church
When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15
Where: 3285 Poplar Springs Road, Gainesville
More info: www.redwineumc.org
Among the donkeys, sheep, goats and other animals, a Christmas tradition is born.
Several Northeast Georgia churches are recreating the story of Jesus’ birth by putting on live Nativities in the coming weeks. Church members portray Mary and Joseph with other Biblical characters to tell the Christmas Eve story, complete with animals in a manger scene.
“It’s something that’s grown every year, and people are making it a part of their tradition,” said Chris Stephens, pastor of Hope Crossings church in Jefferson. “We just want everyone to come out and enjoy it.”
Hope Crossings has been hosting its live Nativity for six years. The live Nativity last 20 minutes as guests watch from their seats on hay bales or in their chairs brought from home.
“It is very moving,” Stephens said. “There’s some music involved in it. It’s a very real depiction as best we can make it.”
The emphasis of the live Nativity is to highlight the real meaning of Christmas, especially for kids.
“It’s very easy for children to get caught up in the tree, Santa and gifts,” Stephens said. “We really want to bring it back to what it’s all about.”
Performances are at 7 and 8 p.m. nightly from Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 14, weather permitting. Admission is free to the show at 2106 Old Pendergrass Road in Jefferson.
The Jackson County High School will sing before the 7 p.m. Dec. 9 show and the Winder-Barrow High School choir will sing Dec. 10.
Cookies and hot chocolate will be available.
“It’s just a real great time,” Stephens said. “It’s a family atmosphere. A lot of people have been making this a part of their Christmas tradition.”
Cross Pointe Church is continuing the live Nativity tradition at Lanier Islands in Buford. The scene of Christ’s birth has been part of the Magical Lights tour of Christmas displays for the past 11 years.
The live nativity is from 7-10 p.m. daily through Dec. 23, with shows every 30 minutes, rain or shine, in the covered outdoor amphitheater. Free hot chocolate is available.
Gene Mason, communications minister at Cross Pointe said Lanier Islands wanted a “very Christian” ending to its Christmas presentation.
“It takes 20 minutes to experience the whole (Nativity) and then people can go on and do their next little Christmas adventure,” Mason said.
The cost to see the Nativity in the tour is $45 per car, $36 online at www.lanierislands.com. Coupons are available at participating Publix, Quick Trip and McDonalds locations.
Corinth Baptist Church in Gainesville is hosting its annual drive-thru nativity called “Journey to Bethlehem.”
Residents can watch scenes from the holy city from the comfort of their car.
Chris Swan, lead pastor at Corinth Baptist Church, said many people make it a family tradition to drive through Bethlehem.
“And it is our gift to the community,” he said in a video about ‘Journey to Bethlehem’ on the church’s Facebook page.
The free event will run from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 10-11 at 3590 Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville.