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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

Christmas festivities kick off this weekend

Friday, December 1, 2006

(Photo)
"A Night in Bethlehem," an annual indoor nativitie exhibit, will be on display this weekend at several churches.
SIKESTON -- Anyone wanting to get into the Christmas spirit will have several opportunities to do so this weekend.

Kicking off the weekend festivities is the sixth annual indoor nativity exhibit "A Night in Bethlehem," which will be on display from 5-8 p.m. today and from 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the following Sikeston churches: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the First Christian Church, the First United Methodist Church and the Wesley United Methodist Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has 178 nativity scenes on display in its gym. Each of the other churches also have their displays, which are set up indoors.

Each church has their congregation bring in their nativity scenes.

Chris Jarrett, member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has displayed seven or eight of her nativity sets for this year's exhibit.

"It is awe striking," Jarrett said about seeing the nativity scenes. "Every year it's gotten larger, and it's always different because everybody gets nativity scenes from all over the world."

Nativity scenes range from tiny displays, ornaments and snow globes to sea shells, wood blocks and mirrors, Jarrett said.

"It gives people an idea what a remarkable event that took place a little over 2000 years ago and how it has impacted the world," Jarrett said. "You can't walk away from these and not feel a sense of Christ."

Admission is free and refreshments will be served at all of the churches.

After a two-year absence, First Baptist Church in Sikeston is bringing back its Living Christmas Tree beginning at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday.

"Some of the members wanted to do it again. Kathy Jackson, our worship leader, said if you're willing, then I'll direct it," said Sherrie Crouthers, administrative assistant at First Baptist Church in Sikeston.

The Living Christmas Tree rises all the way to the top of the sanctuary's ceiling, Crouthers said.

"It's a huge tree, and the performers/choir members get on the tree, and there's a person at the very top of the tree," Crouthers said.

There's a lot of work and construction involved in putting the tree and the production together, Crouthers said. She estimated about 75 people participate in the event including drama and cast members, narrators and those spotlighting.

"Wondrous Gift -- The Treasure of Jesus" is this year's theme. Crouthers said it's a powerful retelling of the Christmas story, starting with the modern perspective of Christmas.

"The musical asks the question, 'What can I give Him?' The listeners, in response to Christ, discover the only appropriate gift is your heart," Crouthers said. "It's very unique."

There is no reserved seating, which is why ticket sales guarantee a seat. Cost is $1 per person. Proceeds will benefit a local charity.

For tickets, visit the church at 1101 N. Main St. in Sikeston or Paul's Christian Bookstore. For more information, call 471-4122.

And on Sunday the Sikeston Depot's sixth annual Christmas Home Tour will be from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

The tour includes stops at five homes then the Depot for refreshments. This year's homes belong to Rick and Gayle Watkins, 107 West Gladys; David and Lori Boardman, 508 North Ranney; Ronnie and Susan Watkins, 1302 Columbine; Robin and Carolyn Chambers, 814 Auburn (Arbor Walk); and Lucy Chambers, 814 Auburn. The Depot is located at 116 West Malone Ave.

Both Chambers' homes and Ronnie and Susan Watkins' home are newer while the Boardman's and Rick and Gayle Watkins' homes are older houses so there's a little something for everyone.

Pam Bedell, chair of the Home Tour committee, said there's several reasons people enjoy touring the homes.

"They like to see how different people decorate; if it's a new home, they're interested in seeing it. And some go strictly because they're benefiting the Depot and the upkeep of the Depot," Bedell said.

Plus, it's a great way to get decorating ideas, Bedell said.

"It's always fun and people enjoy it," Bedell said about the home tours. "And I think it's very nice of the people to open their homes to the public -- that's a big job to decorate and to allow people to into your home."

Those who go can begin at any home on the tour and end at the Depot for refreshments, Bedell said.

Tickets are $10, and are on sale at the Sikeston Depot, The Flower Patch, Garden Lane Nursery and North Main Florist.