The Live Nativity

February 28, 2017 on 9:07 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

I had a dream.

The dream began when I was young.  Maybe 6 or 7.

I went with my parents to watch my brothers and sister perform in a living nativity.  A family in our ward did it every year and the youth played the roles.  I thought it was the most magical and amazing thing I had ever seen.  I SO wanted to be a part of it!  I remember going multiple years and just wishing I was 12 so I could be a part of it.

Before I turned 12, the family who did the nativity moved.  But I never forgot.

After Kevin and I were married, and maybe even after we had Ricky, I heard tale of a family that did the nativity in a neighboring town.  I sought them out and showed Kevin my dream.  To my delight, it was the same family!  They had grown and now used just family members and even brought in bleachers because of the crowds, but I could still see my dream from all those years earlier.

Now, that family still does the nativity.  They perform it at the county fairgrounds because it has grown so large.  And last year, they even had a real camel!

That isn’t my dream.  My dream is that small backyard, intimate experience of the nativity.  Children you know playing the parts.  Music playing.  Words from the scriptures.  Live and often unpredictable animals.  Maybe a light snow.   I have seen it in my mind so many times!

This last year, I decided to do it.  I didn’t plan it out months in advance.  I was sitting with some friends in early December and they said they’d help.  That’s all the more impressive it began.  But in my mind … oh, how it was growing!


Animals.  There must be animals.  I tried to get the traditional animals – donkey and sheep.  I have friends who own them, but none were available.  So I went with less traditional options – goats, a pony, and a llama.  I threw in some rabbits for effect (plus, I figure the darn things should earn their keep!).


We used the Farnsworth’s backyard.  It is fully fenced so there was no fear of a borrowed animal escaping.

The weather tormented me, as it often does.  It was supposed to rain.  A lot.  I was already wondering if anyone would come watch our nativity and knew rain would not help!  I prayed a lot about that darn forecast!  But even as we set up that afternoon, the heavens teased me with sprinkling rain!


I had been so busy putting the other details together, I almost forgot my own children and their costuming needs!  Thankfully, I have things around and a friend filled in a few details for me.

Rusty our wiseman


Tommy a shepherd


Billy a shepherd


And Bobby the Ghost of Christmas present.  I mean, a baby angel!


Ricky had opted to be our light guy instead of a character.  He worked our spot light (which we learned isn’t quite strong enough).

As we put up the signs pointing people the way and arrived at the Farnsworth’s, it wasn’t rain falling.  It was snow!  Big, fluffy, beautiful flakes.  My heart poured out gratitude to a Heavenly Father who heard this girl’s prayers.  Rain would have been miserable.  Snow was magical!


It was my favorite.  My favorite night.  My favorite realization of a dream.  My favorite way to spend a December night.  My favorite way to honor my Savior!   I was overwhelmed by everything about that night.  The people who came.  The kids who participated without complaint about crazy Cindy who had a “plan.”  The friends who helped my plan happen.  My husband who just did and didn’t question, even when I made him dress up at the last minute so as not to ruin the effect as he maneuvered in the background.  The answered prayers.  The snow.

And the baby angels.  How I loved the baby angels!


After people had left and things had been cleaned up, we took our friends on a short hay ride around our neighborhood as a thank you.

It could not have been a more perfect night.  It was JUST like my 6 year old dream!

You can see it HERE.  (13 minutes)