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The 60th anniversary display of the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes will start Sunday, Dec. 15.
Courtesy Photo
The 60th anniversary display of the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes will start Sunday, Dec. 15.

News, Holiday, Santa Monica

Santa Monica Nativity Scenes To Return December 15 With New Location

Posted Dec. 7, 2013, 9:43 am

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

Life-size scenes depicting events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ will go on display Sunday, Dec. 15 as the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes marks its 60th anniversary year with a new location and a large new scriptural banner telling the Christmas story.

The new location is Mount Olive Lutheran Church along Maple Street, one block north of Ocean Park Boulevard, west of 14th Street and also along 14th Street.

The scenes will remain on display through Jan. 2.

Nativity Scenes Committee Chairman Hunter Jameson noted that the church parking lot off 14th Street offers ample space for motorists wanting to park and walk past the scenes.

“We are deeply grateful to the people of Mount Olive Lutheran Church and their interim pastor, the Rev. Stephen Fiechter, for providing this site to allow Santa Monica’s distinctive Christmas Story to continue to spread the message of love, joy, hope, and peace found in the Christ child’s birth to residents and visitors,” Jameson said.

Although the scenes will be displayed at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, the opening ceremony for this year’s event will be at Palisades Park, longtime home of the scenes through 2011.

The opening gathering will be at 3 pm Sunday, Dec. 15, along Ocean Avenue in the vicinity of Arizona Avenue.

The ceremony will feature Christmas carols from community choirs, recital of the Christmas Story, and unfurling of a new 24-foot-long scriptural banner, “The Christmas Story.”

The specially commissioned banner, nearly five feet tall, displays scriptures narrating events surrounding Christ’s birth with photos of many of the Nativity Scenes.

After its introduction Sunday, it will be displayed periodically at Palisades Park throughout the Christmas season as an attended display.

The original Nativity Scenes and any overnight displays were banned from the park by the city of Santa Monica in 2012, an action under legal challenge in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

On a lighter note, Jameson said the Committee is welcoming a new member this Christmas.

"Resplendent Light Community Church, a young Westside congregation, and its pastor, the Rev. Clifford Asai, will mount the first scene in the Nativity series, 'The Annunciation,' formerly overseen by the Santa Monica Police Officers’ Association," Jameson said. "The Police Officers’ Association, which retired from the committee this year, has been a faithful and devoted member of the committee, and we thank the officers for their many years of playing a vital role in continuing this community tradition."

“No Room at the Inn,” usually mounted by the Church of the Nazarene, will be overseen this year by continuing member Metro Church Calvary Chapel, which will combine it with its usual scene, “Rest Along the Road.”

“We appreciate Metro’s stepping up in this way as Church of the Nazarene takes a sabbatical this year,” Jameson said. "As a result there will be 13 scenes this year instead of 14."

Individuals, churches and businesses help sponsor the Scenes through the nonprofit Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee.

Donations defray the $18,000 annual cost, which includes assembly, removal and storage of the booths; mailing; advertising; and insurance.

Donations may be sent to the Nativity Scenes Committee at P.O. Box 0648, Santa Monica 90406, or made through the Committee’s website,

Post a comment


Dec. 17, 2013, 11:06:38 am

Monika Bialas said...

Who are these people living in our city now, full of hate with no regard and TOLERANCE for our religion. Why don't they move on to another like Beverly Hills? We don't look the other way when you are walking down the street, Fawlty, Afraid to use your real name? But we know who you are. I will laugh myself silly seeing you the next time.

Dec. 7, 2013, 10:55:18 am


What an assault on the senses. I will have to look at this day in and day out for weeks. Jesus would have laughed himself silly - I will try to do the same.

Dec. 7, 2013, 12:21:53 pm

False Profits said...

Praise Jeebus! 18 grand would buy a lot of food for people in need instead of wasted on your idols. What would the real Jeebus do?

Dec. 7, 2013, 12:46:26 pm

joan pedone said...

Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. I applaud the churches for coming together to continue these inspiring scenes.

Dec. 7, 2013, 6:42:40 pm

Rob Clark said...

Don't listen to the haters, Jesus, they know not what they do. So glad the Nativity scenes are back.

Dec. 7, 2013, 8:14:58 pm

C.J. said...

Oh they know what they do perfectly well. They don't waste 18 grand then claim to be all righteous and they don't believe in ancient flights of fancy.

Dec. 7, 2013, 11:12:28 pm

T.L. said...

Glad these are back. Pay no mind to the intolerant naysayers in the comment thread. May these scenes be a beacon of light and truth to all who visit!

Dec. 8, 2013, 5:59:48 pm

Rob Clark said...

Don't worry CJ, Jesus still loves you and he understands why you are the way you are. I wish the city would bring back the decorations that were put up over 4th Street back in the day. Today's decorations at the mall look so sterile. Merry Christmas.

Dec. 22, 2013, 4:03:24 pm

Ed said...

@Monika Ironically, the guy responsible for having the displays removed from Palisades Park wasn't a Santa Monica resident either. That particular scumbag apparently lives in Burbank.

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