Joy to the world the lawn is done

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 23/12/2013
margaret evans

CHRISTMAS CHEER: Margaret Evans and her family have spent half of the year designing and constructing a life-sized nativity scene in Ratapiko.

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A baby Jesus is away in a manger in Ratapiko.

Nestled next to his mother and father, Mary and Joseph, the infant is gaining the attention of people travelling down Tariki Rd.

The baby Jesus is part of a full, life-sized nativity scene on the front lawn of Margaret Evans' home.

For about six months Mrs Evans and her extended family have been busy designing, painting and creating the nativity scene and the stable, which they call by its Polish name - a Shopka.

The idea for the display came when Mrs Evans was travelling in Poland and then America.

"These type of things are everywhere over there, but there's not many here though," she said.

While she was the driving force behind the nativity scene, Mrs Evans didn't end up painting any of the figures.

"I cut them all out with the jigsaw, and I tried painting a sheep, but it didn't work out. In fact he had to be painted over because he looked dreadful," she said.

While it was mostly smooth sailing with the project, one of the three Wise Men had a run-in with some rain.

All of the figures were meant to be painted with exterior paint, but one wise man wasn't and his image ended up dripping off the wood.

That wasn't so wise and he had to be repainted in time for yesterday's community Christmas carol sing-a-long in front of the scene.

Around 30 people joined the family to sing traditional Christmas songs and watch the nativity scene light-up at dusk.

"This really is for our family, our friends, our community, and of course for the children.

"It carries all of the classic Christmas stories, which a lot of children don't hear these days," she said.

Mrs Evans, who wanted to fill the stable with flowers during the year, said she planned to continue with her project next Christmas and start a new family tradition.

They're doing it in Opunake too: Page 5

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