Archive for December 3rd, 2022

Church Nativity Scenes


Written by Kathy Loftman from the Village Church

One of the highlights of Christmas each year was visiting the Nativity Scenes that were set up by the local churches in Santa Monica, a tradition that was established in 1953. Each church was responsible for a booth with a scene from the nativity. Our church was responsible for the angels’ announcement to the shepherds. Cars and pedestrians would line of at one end of Palisades Park and drive by each booth, listening to the music and reading the short Bible verse describing the scene. Some years, the wait to see the scenes was quite long.

Our family would be part of the crowd each year, sometimes visiting a week or so before Christmas and sometimes visiting on Christmas Eve after the church service. The telling of the story by all the community churches was special and very meaningful. Santa Monica earned the nickname “City of the Christmas Story.”

Sadly, as the years passed, there were protests by an atheist group, and some of the booths were destroyed by vandalism. In 2015, a ban was placed on the displays. The churches got together and decided to erect them on private property. Calvary Baptist Church, our largest African American church in Santa Monica, now hosts the displays each year. Donations are desperately being sought by the community of believers to keep the tradition alive.


Luke 2:11 

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”


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