This article is sponsored by Clark Historic Farm. Clark Historic Farm hosts a traditional, live nativity featuring live animals and actors. Start a new Christmas tradition this year and bring your family to enjoy the nativity, luminaries, and hot chocolate. December 9 & 11, 2017 5:30- 8:30pm.


The Nativity scene is a staple of Christmas time here in Utah. Nativities can be made with figurines both small and large, or they are reenacted live. Nativities are a beautiful way to celebrate this time of year with a visual representation of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Since it’s that time of year, here are 3 things you should know about one of Utah’s favorite Christmas traditions.

1) The First Nativity Scene was a Live Display

Inspired by a trip to the Holy Land, Saint Francis of Assisi created the first Nativity scene 1223 at Greccio in central Italy.  The scene featured live humans and animals displayed in a cave.  The display won a papal blessing, and quickly caught on.  It wasn’t long before Nativity scenes were found at every church in Italy, then beyond.  Eventually, statues replaced live participants in most scenes.

Even though Nativity scenes today are primarily statues, Assisi’s tradition of live scenes remains.  They are sometimes hard to find but are well worth it.  Clark Historic Farm in Grantsville, Utah, performs a live Nativity scene every year.  It features actors and animals from the farm.

2) Different Cultures Often Display Different Nativity Scenes

The Christmas Story is celebrated in every corner of the earth.  All of Christianity worships the same Jesus Christ, but individual cultures sometimes put their own flavor on the holiday nativity scenes

Here is a Native American nativity scene complete with a moose on the roof!

This scene is very distinctive.  You can see the Japanese influence immediately.  Still, all the traditional nativity elements are there.

The Christmas story took place far from North America or Japan, but these nativity scenes create a meaningful link between them during the holiday.

They show that no matter our background, language, or location, we can all unite in celebrating Christmas.

3) Start A Meaningful Christmas Tradition For Your Family

You probably have a cherished nativity scene prominently displayed in your own home.  Clark Historic Farm invites your family to join their nativity tradition.

Clark Historic Farms is a working farm and the former home of J. Reuben Clark, past Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Every year they host a live nativity featuring live actors and animals from the farm.

Set the tone for the holiday with a walk through the paper luminaries.  And stepping into the nativity with your family will be a powerful moment to imagine how it might have been on that first Christmas night.
Then sip hot chocolate and visit with new friends around a fire.  This is what Christmas is all about!