The BYU Store is hosting one of the largest crèche, or nativity, exhibits in the state of Utah through Dec. 30 to share the spirit of Christ this Christmas season.
The exhibit includes nativities from over 90 countries, including a 1,000 piece Fontanini nativity. It is free for all guests and will be located in the lower level of the BYU Store during normal store hours.
Last year, the store displayed 200 crèche exhibits from Betsy Christensen’s “The Nativity Collection.” This year the store has an entirely new collection to share from Holly and Jack Zenger.
BYU Store Marketing Manager J.R. Ricks said the Zenger’s collection is unlike any other in the country.
“Holly is a premium collector, and there is none that equal her collection in the country. Her collection is really extensive and truly pristine. We only have 300 of her full collection of 1400 crèche exhibits,” Ricks said. “It is a feast for the eyes.”
BYU Store Director Mark Clegg said the store hopes to align with BYU’s mission and help all those who come into the store to leave a little closer to Christ than they were before entering.
“We hope to ultimately create an environment that is rich in experience and deeply aligned to the mission of Brigham Young University. This crèche display is one way of enriching the in-store experience, creating a family event and has obvious ties to our foundational aims as a university,” Clegg said.
BYU sophomore Sofia Ayala thinks the crèche collection helps her remember that Christ is the same for everyone all over the world.
“I like how all the different nativities convey that Christ is the Savior for everyone, and He knows everyone and is our comforter and friend. Whatever language, color or culture, He is always there,” Ayala said.
BYU sophomore Emma Westhora felt grateful for the opportunity she has to attend a university that helps her center her life around the Savior.
“I think it’s cool that on my break between classes I can come down here and look at the nativity and think about Christ,” Westhora said. “It helps the season not be all about the Christmas trees or the presents but focused on Christ and the light He brings.”