Brenda Riggs has a list, and at last count, it contained 165 entries. It is not a list for gift purchases, but rather one of the nativity scenes she and husband, Dennis, have collected during their marriage. Each entry describes each scene and who provided it.
“I can connect with where I got them,” she said.
The couple purchased their first nativity scene 26 years ago on their honeymoon.
Every Christmas season, Brenda Riggs brings the collection out of storage and displays the scenes throughout the house. Some remain on display throughout the year.
“They remind us of the whole meaning behind it,” she said. “Jesus coming to us in human form.”
Riggs said they do not travel a lot, but whenever they do, they look for more to add to their collection. They also get them from family members and friends.
The scenes take many different forms. A metal-sculptured scene purchased at Marion’s Arts and Crafts Show sits in the front yard. A scene on paper was colored by one of the Riggs’ three sons in Sunday school. The boys made one out of wood scraps one year.
The Riggs commissioned a Chinese artist in Manhattan to draw a nativity scene. She was unacquainted with the Christmas story and had to read about it in the Bible in order to draw it. The painting hangs over the mantle in the Riggs home.
Other scenes take the form of ceramics, pictures, ornaments, and wall hangings.
“I enjoy seeing all the ways the story can be depicted,” Riggs said.
She is a special education instructor in the Remington school district. Dennis Riggs works at Peabody State Bank.