Local man decorates using slides of Nativity

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; For Bill and Diane Fletcher, Christmas is all about simplicity.

&8220;The problem with people nowadays is we sometimes forget what Christmas is all about,&8221; Diane, 72, said. &8220;All the shopping, food and elaborate decorating tend to take away from the true meaning.&8221;

A few years ago, Bill, 74, said he decided to fit in with the neighbors in the Village Green subdivision but he noticed not many people had an inside decorative approach.

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So Bill went outside to view the front of his house and brainstormed an idea.

&8220;I decided to make silhouettes illuminated by flood lights in my front windows,&8221; Bill said.

The black, cardboard silhouettes, Bill said, depict the Nativity, the story of Christ&8217;s birth according to the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke.

&8220;It&8217;s really a representation of our faith,&8221; Diane said.

Diane and Bill are members of the New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Natchez.

Bill said the shepherds tending their flocks and following the Star of David, which hangs over Bill and Diane&8217;s front door, depicts the New Testament book of Luke.

The depiction of Matthew&8217;s Gospel is shown by the Magi (three wise men) following the same star, Bill said.

The only thing not found in the Nativity scene in Bill and Diane&8217;s display, however, is the baby Jesus.

Instead, in between Mary and Joseph is a cross to celebrate the Atonement (Christ&8217;s dying and rising from the dead) rather than the Incarnation (Christ&8217;s birth), Bill said.

&8220;I thought about it and decided we sometimes view Christmas as our big holiday, but as Christians, our biggest holiday really is the (Atonement), which we usually celebrate at Easter,&8221; Bill said.

Bill also said he chose to build the silhouette decorations because they were easy to put up and down and yet were admired by passers by.

&8220;We&8217;ve had all kinds of people pass by our house at night and stare at the display and some even ask us where we got them,&8221; Bill said. &8220;I just say it&8217;s divine inspiration,&8221; he said, chuckling.