Celebration of the birth of Jesus isn’t just a holiday event for Edith Regier of Marion. She keeps it alive all year long through nativity scenes on permanent display throughout her home.
Regier, 87, isn’t sure the exact number she owns but has between 80 and 90 of them.
“This was my hobby, and I enjoy them year round,” she said.
A walk through her house reveals nativity scenes in every room. Some are so small they might be missed. Others are large and dominating.
Some scenes are of Mary and Joseph and the baby. Others are the entire nativity.
They come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. About half are gifts from her family.
Her first nativity scene was a flannel graph presentation she made for children at her church 55 years ago. She turned it into a permanent display. Her second set was a ceramic display made in Germany.
One of the oldest displays is a cardboard fold-up scene. Others are Hummel figurines, crystal statues, ceramics of all sizes, silver figures, a carved wood scene, and a marble hand-carved scene from Lanning Pharmacy.
Some are embedded in wreaths, tree ornaments, and glass bulbs. Many light up.
One of Edith’s favorites is a tall, wood-carved set that is displayed on her piano. It was a gift from her children. Another features Joseph and Mary and the baby clothed in real cloth outfits from First Place in Wichita.
Regier said she really didn’t need more nativity scenes, but just this summer she bought a tapestry.
“I think I can’t buy any more, but then I see something, and it’s hard to resist,” she said.
Every year, she sends Christmas cards that feature nativity scenes. A nativity flag is on display in her yard.
Her daughters, Carol and Beth, both of Wichita, help her decorate three Christmas trees every year. Her son, Greg, lives in Marion and helps her as needed.
She drives to church in Hillsboro, sometimes goes to Florence to eat out, and occasionally goes to Lincolnville.
She is an avid walker and claims to walk more than three miles a day, sometimes in her neighborhood and sometimes at the aquatic center.
She is thankful that she can stay active and continue to enjoy relatives and friends.