When you walk down the independent living hallway at Parkway Place (a faith-based senior living community in Houston), you’ll notice the more than 15 nativity scenes on display for residents and guests to admire. Ralph and Cathy Edwards (90 and 65, respectively) are two residents who have donated their sets for the holiday season. Creating nativity scenes is a lifelong passion for the father-daughter duo. Ralph was a pastor and crafted more than 350 nativity scenes in three different sizes to pass down to family members, donate to churchgoers and sell at craft shows. Cathy was a children’s minister and would use her father’s nativity scenes to teach children the true meaning of Christmas. The family is honored to showcase their sets.
“My father loved creating the nativity scenes for many years,” said Cathy Edwards. “Even though he no longer makes the sets, we are thrilled to show off his hard work for residents, associates and guests at Parkway Place. Having them on display is a way of sharing the story of Christmas, and that’s a beautiful thing to see. All the sets on display are unique to each family. The ones my father would make fit into a puzzle and are made from real wood, so they don’t break. It’s inspiring to know so many people have a nativity scene made by my father and that our family members will have the sets to pass on to future generations.”
The sets the Edwards have on display include a homemade wooden one by Ralph, a set from Peru that was a gift to Cathy from her parents from a mission trip, and a Native American-inspired set that was purchased in New Mexico. Parkway Place asks residents to display nativity scenes each year for everyone to enjoy.
“It is so nice to walk up and down the halls and see the different nativity scenes the residents of Parkway Place have graciously put on display for the holidays,” said Susan Phelps, executive director at Parkway Place. “I’ve noticed several residents just stopping and admiring the nativity scenes on their way to dinner or heading to a life enrichment activity. From homemade sets to ones passed down from generation to generation, we love hearing the stories and how meaningful the sets are for the residents. Ralph and Cathy are a perfect example of that. We are grateful they donated three to our display this year, and we hope to continue to grow our nativity scene display next year.”