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Nativity collection teaches real meaning of Christmas

Staff writer

Jami Mayfield of Marion has been collecting nativity scenes for more than 30 years.

Ever since her three now-grown children were little, they have had their own nativity. Mayfield would hide the baby Jesus from each set late on Christmas Eve, and before the children could open their presents Christmas Day morning, each had to find the baby Jesus and return it to its place.

She is continuing the tradition with her three grandchildren and son Colin, a high school senior.

“I want to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas,” she said.

She owns at least 40 nativity scenes, of which 18 are on display at Marion City Library.

One of her favorites is a large acrylic set of Joseph and Mary and a manger. It has a built-in light. She said she displays it in front of a large window in her home.

The smallest scene is made of tiny silver figures embedded in red velvet in a little, rose-shaped jewelry box. Mayfield found it in Europe.

Several are scenes painted on ornaments, including one on a cross-shaped ornament.

A musical snow globe encompasses the nativity family.

Several complete scenes of various sizes are made of meticulously painted ceramic figures.

Mayfield said she purchased some of the scenes from her mother’s interior design shop in Beatrice, Nebraska.

One scene comes from the Cat’s Meow series, and cutouts hanging from a string come from “Trades of Hope.”

One carving comes from Zogey’s in Florence, and one is made of metal.

“I like the ones with Mary holding the baby,” Mayfield said.

She has her eyes out for unique nativity sets wherever she goes and often receives them as gifts.

She acquired one of her first sets from Avon. It was made of soft resin.

“My dog Casper chewed Mary’s head off, and I haven’t been able to find a replacement,” she said.

Fortunately, she has plenty of others to fill every nook and cranny of her home during the Christmas holiday.

Last modified Dec. 14, 2017

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