Woman’s nativity scenes are a collection of family memories - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

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Woman’s nativity scenes are a collection of family memories

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

Collections are as vast as the collectors. One Decatur woman’s nativity scene collection is a virtual path of memories, faith and families.

Patty Easterling started collecting "all things Nativity" long ago. She got her first nativity scene from her mother when she was a teenager. Now she has about 300, not including ornaments from her nativity tree.

That first nativity scene was a nice Christopher Bracko one, she said. Her mom gave one to her sisters too.

She’s collected all over the world. One example was picking up a few while in Bethlehem with her daughter. That trip yielded more than she thought, though.

"While we were in the Holy Land, my twin sister was in China and she thought, ‘I'll never find a nativity in communist China,’ but she did,” said Easterling.

In fact, just about every one of them sparks a sweet memory of loving family and friends.

"My daughter, Beth, also took trips to Austria and Switzerland and brought me back a nativity from those places. And our pastor's wife, she knows I collect them and she was on a mission trip to Italy last year and brought me back one. So those are pretty special,” she said.

The nativity scenes don't stop on the walls or even with the pillows. This serious collector has books, a fire screen and even cookie cutters for those with a sweet tooth.

Her collection takes up a lot of room in her home, and you can tell she loves each and every piece.

Easterling said her daughters don't share her passion for collecting these items and she might just donate the collection to the church someday. But right now, she just wants to enjoy the symbols of the season and those who make it special.

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