Need some ideas from Blogland!!

My Grandmother’s Creche

I need a little help from you guys!

This year at church our Stake (all of the congregations in our area) is putting on a Creche Exhibit.  We will have an exhibit of Creche’s (Nativity sets) of church members in the area and a live Nativity!

I’m in charge of the decorations (including how to exhibit the Creche’s) and food for this exhibit, and the children’s activity room. I’m starting to get a bit overwhelmed. So I need some help.

If you have done this activity and blogged about it or seen someone who has blogged about it can you please send me the link? I really need ideas for how to decorate! Also any ideas that you may have from decorating for a Christmas Church activity would be great too! I really need to figure out how to make the gym at the Church not look like a gym at a church :).

Thanks so much!!

Melissa Mortenson is the author of the Polka Dot Chair blog which is in its 7th year of sharing fresh and creative ideas with readers. She is the author of “Project Teen, Handmade Gifts your Teen will Actually Love”. Her first fabric line “Derby Style” debuted in January 2015 through Riley Blake Designs. A mom of 3, she considers herself lucky to be living in Kentucky.


  1. says

    Good luck! I am so glad I have never had the “activity chair” calling!!! I dislike planning big parties for adults! I’ve never been to one of these, but would love to go to one someday! Sounds like fun (for everyone else to enjoy your hard work.)

  2. says

    We put “eye bolts” on either side of the cultural hall and stretched wire tightly across. This gave us something to wrap tiny white Christmas lights across/around (the light strands aren’t strong enough to hang alone and their plugs pull apart mid-air). Anyway, with a canopy of lights it looks like the night sky–a nice effect, especially when focusing on the nativity.
    Other than that, I would just use yards and yards of burlap to drape over tables and around table-top creches–again, it sets the mood. If you need signs/directional signs, try to make them on old parchment looking paper (burned edges, faded, etc.) Hope this helps get your wheels turning. Good luck!

  3. says

    We also strung lights but I had 3 wires going lengthwise in the gym and then strung the lights across the width and used the wires to drape it. I can send you pictures if you want. Also you can use the rolling chalkboards to cut off the corners. Just drape with fabric, gives it a cozier feel. I feel ya. I had to do a Valentines dance. I finally realized that ultimately it IS a church so you can only do so much! Good luck!

  4. says

    We did it one year – no pictures though. We set up little booths out of the church tables and pvc and then made little shops. There was a bakery, a toy shop, a butcher, etc. That way when dinner was served they went to the baker to get their pita bread, butcher to fill with meat, fruit kabobs, etc. The toy shop gave the kids dreidels. Ladies volunteered to decorate each booth, and then they put fake ficus trees around. We used a lot of baskets, burlap, and brown butcher paper. This gave us the atmosphere without having to change the entire cultural hall. We also had the people come dressed up. Oh, and before they came the committee handed out stars so we could follow the star to Bethlehem. It was cute, but a lot of work.

  5. says

    Hmmm. One of our chapels has a creche display every year. They display creches from all over the world. Maybe you could look at other countries for inspiration. I love the burlap suggestions. I’d keep it simple and not go full blown ornate. This definitely would make a great stake activity! I’ll have to suggest it.

  6. says

  7. says

    one thing we have done at our church is used brown constructioners paper to make rock walls. It looks really cool and totally changes the feel of the place. We wadded and twisted the paper to make it rough and then stapled it at the bottom of the wall, let it blouse a little and stapled again. Then started another row (this covered up any staples) After we were finished we spray painted a little black paint in the creavis and dry brushed some white paint on the high points. It was so quick and cheap. It would give a more “Old Bethleham” feel. If this sounds like a look you would be going for, I can email some pictures.

  8. says

    i am so overwhelmed with happiness right now. you’re grandmother’s nativity scene is EXACTLY like my grandmother’s! sadly, she passed away in 1994 way earlier than any of us would have liked. in all the family handing around, a lot of pieces have broken. it breaks my heart every year we pull it out and it’s missing bits here and there. we don’t have any information on it. yours look to be in such good shape and i was wondering if you had a box to it with any information on who made it so i can try to find replacement pieces. i’ve looked at the bottom of the few figures we have, but i can’t remember ever seeing much on them. if you have any info it would be brilliant! thanks so much. good luck with your exhibit! :D

  9. says

    Our Stake does a similar thing. There is wire strung across at intervals (short wise) Then they drape long, white, gauzy fabric lenghtwise across the gym. It basically gently swoops from one wire to the next. Our stake also collects quilts to display. They hang the quilts up along the walls. It really makes it feel warm and welcome.

  10. says

    Fake christmas trees with white lights . . . whatever you do, keep it simple and don’t detract from the nativities. Children’s activity rooms . . . dress up clothes or puppets to act out the scene. Good luck; you’ll do awesome.

  11. says

    Oh my gosh, that is the same exact Nativity set that I have. Mine was purchased for our first Christmas that we were married in 1969. We use it each and every Christmas.

    Our Church does a Nativity display and asks for contributions. I think it’s great that yours is a community event. Good luck and I’m sure it will be a huge success.

  12. says

    We have this event every year in our Stake and it’s a huge draw for non-members to come and see what we’re all about. We send around sign ups in November for poinsettias. We have small and large. Then we buy poinsettias to decorate with. When the weekend is over, those who signed up and paid, take home the poinsettias. It’s a great way to save money but really have great decor. We also have a live Nativity. We coordinate choirs and other performers to come and sing/play in the chapel. The food is really simple – sugar cookies and lemon water. You don’t want anyone to get food on the displays!! People also have nice nativity quilts and the like that we hang on the walls. We always have someone there guarding the nativities. We have ropes up so that people (little guys) won’t get too close. This is by far my favorite activity of the year!!

  13. says

    My ward did this for our christmas party last year. They used them as the center pieces on the tables where we ate and then where the food went. On the food tables boxes were placed under the table cloths at different heights to make sure each one was given its share of the viewing expeirence.

  14. says

    Holy Cow!!! I have never even heard of this. I have a small obsession with naitivities. If I had known something like this exsitsted I would have gone looking for it. I’m the activity chair in my ward too and the Christmas party feels super overwhelming. I’m not doing anything nearly as amazing. I hope you post lots and lots of pictures and give every little detail. I know this doesn’ help much, but the woman on this blog ( has planned a number of LDS parties and has done an amazing job (I love her decorating ideas). Maybe you can find some inspiration there. Good luck, I have a small idea of what you are going through.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *