Holiday Traditions of the Lowcountry: Women put Nativity scenes on display

By Pamela Brownstein
When Charlotte Boe got her first Nativity scene years ago, she had no idea it would lead to her current collection of more than 40 scenes.
A member of the ladies circle at First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte is not the only woman who shares a love of Nativities. Last year, when the group went to visit the abbey at Moncks Corner, they admired the beautiful scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ and wanted to make a display of their own, said church member Marion Leach.
“We decided it would be nice to show our collections to the public,” Marion said. “We will display them as attractive as we can.”
On Friday, December 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3, there will be more than 57 Nativity scenes on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the educational building of First Presbyterian located at the corner of Church and North streets.
There are 19 women contributing to the display and all the scenes are unique. Some are handmade, wooden, silver, clay, or straw. Charlotte even has a scene made from corn stalks.
Holly Karnath has been a member of the church for almost 20 years and has an elaborate scene she made herself at a pottery shop when she and her husband were first married in 1977.
“Some are elegant, some are rustic, all represent the birth of Jesus,” Holly said of the church display.
The Nativity scenes also come from all over the world: Peru, Africa, Vietnam, Russia, China, Italy, Germany, Holland and more.
“For us, this is what Christmas is all about,” said Charlotte. “This is not just about Santa Claus; it helps to have the visual reminder.”
This event is free to the public, but donations are accepted.

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