HISTORY back to menu

This is where I begin to build the Christmas scene. It must be said that starting a Christmas scene was not a problem for me. In almost every family in Alsace, a manger more or less is under the Christmas tree.

This know-how passed down from my father, with a landscape rock, paper, foam and various 3-m2 I have just taken the basic idea and I expanded, improved from year to year. " br />
It was so popular with seniors as families crowd at the St-Nicolas to admire. The class neighborhood school and also benefit more animate this institution. The Christmas party for children of staff and the Christmas meal with the family become the apotheosis.

For the Christmas scene changes each year: a model over an area of growing and decorating becoming richer. Even other E.M.S. the region come to visitors.

Twelve years later, I leave this institution and I carry in my luggage, the work of 12 years of effort: the Christmas scene.

In December 2002, with the consent of the Pastor of the time that I build my crib in the Temple of Dommartin left the ark, not the heart. A little word of mouth and people of the parish, and local residents arrived en masse to see this amazing building. It is now 12 Christmas I install my crib in the Temple, she has found her casket.

Built in the heart of Temple in 2003, it reached its mature size. But every year, I fancy a change, something new to delight visitors. More than 2000 people come to see each year

Share my work and many extra hours, I have the chance to free up time in December and January for this project.


I have not forgotten the elderly, and EMS in the region come to visit and school classes as well. The EMS leaders and teachers contact me for day visits. I told them in the background, explanations of assembly and disassembly, biblical history, etc. .. A little taste completely ended the visit was very friendly. For schools, a little getaway in the wings allows me to give them the virus: the buildings are not painted on the back, this show for children with a simple box, you can make a castle, an arch Noah, a palace ... I hope by then to give them a taste of building their own dreams, shopping and money destroying creation.

One of my dreams would be to install my crib in Kaysersberg, my home village, in a not too distant future ... I turned 57 and I do not know how long I would find the energy for this " madness ".

A vow is that of succession, not imposed but desired and that the Christmas scene continues to be installed in the Temple of Dommartin.

The goals of the Christmas scene are:
- Small and large happy to show them a real Christmas, full of sincerity, simplicity and grandeur both in a place that inspires peace and respect.
- To remain accessible to all, rich and poor: no input and certainly not pay merchants of the Temple, she should remain nonprofit.
- Power, with the basket fund a project, a foundation for children, investment in the Christmas scene, organizing concerts, advertising and hospitality (tea, coffee ...)


A building of this magnitude and only made a rush for years as have need to use volunteers for the organization of the home every day, public opening of 17h to 19h, EMS visits, classes of school. For the smooth running of the concerts, I am fortunate to have a dozen people, Friends of the Christmas scene, whom I thank warmly. The religious and communal authorities are of course thanked for their support and the provision of the Temple.

Friends of the Crib:
Olivier Blanc, Dean H.É.C. Retired (advertising, home)
Corinne JUDLIN-CURCHOD, my wife (secretary, home, advertising)
Elsbeth CURCHOD, my stepmother, peasant (home)
Dominique DELESSERT, Secretary (Home)
Agnes BLERON Nurse (Home)
Roland Rapin, ranger (fir)
Robert Gindroz, retired (mulled wine)
Olivier DELESSERT, animal park Lausanne (Nordic torches)
Martine JOYE, superintendent of the Temple (bells and services)
Dommartin Youth Service (mulled wine)
Antoine and Guillaume JUDLIN (transport of the crib)

Common to all three owners for the provision of the Temple-Montaubion Chardonney, Naz and Dommartin
Paroisse de la Haute-Menthue and «Bonne Nouvelle»
Pasteurs Christine Nicolet Van Binsbergen and Laurent,
Echo du Gros de Vaud / Clin d'Œil / Family Favre
Pascal Dessauges (discours concert),
Friends of the scene
Xavier Gretillat for the createion of the website and Daniel Anken for the 2018 uptdate.
And you all evening visitors, spectators, groups of day visitors (Schools and EMS)
For your support, year after year, which encourages me to continue.


1) By October or November, I choose among the multitude of ideas, one that will prevail for the new year. I realizes from objects and different materials recovery.

2) The advertisement was also launched at about that time in various journals or diaries appear, from the beginning December, demonstrations and the opening of the nursery.

3) Order the most beautiful Christmas tree in the heart of the Temple rangers Menthue the group, Mr. Roland Rapin.

4) Before heavy frost, I harvest about 20 m2 of natural moss avoiding exhausting my favorite spots. Any year, I also crop plants which I dry and I dye if necessary. I make also small plants adapted to the landscape from artificial plants.

5) Only 10 days before the opening of 6 December, St-Nicolas, I take leave and the commotion begins:

a) get all the nursery equipment stored in the bell tower of the Temple.
b) removing the first three rows of benches facing the heart by filling the lateral bays and revise the substance of Church to host
c) draw the tree, adjusted to the height of the choir with his foot to about 6.50 m.
d) find a dozen tables at the old Great Hall of the village
e) decorate the tree with the old scale of Temple
f) setting up tables for the background landscape, arcuate integrating fir (economics volumes of cartons and crates)
g) then tables on tables, stools, empty rolls of cable manufacturing, etc..
h) putting the elements dominating the decor: windmill, castle of Herod, Noah's Ark, Egypt, etc..
i) filling voids with boxes, crates and various of the 1st third of landscape in the background, already imagining the relief given when it is covered with paper.
j) establishment of rock paper on the 1st third of landscape: rock paper I use is a kind of kraft paper painted on one side so rock, I buy in rolls from 80cm to 3m. I place entirely and I crumpled gently along its length and width into a ball then crumpled. I smoothed slightly staple here and there on the media (cartons, crates ,..), keeping the folds that interest me.
k) the 1st third overlapping, I of course integrates lighting, extension cords, etc.. necessary for the elements decor.
l) arises from the foam, various animals and plants (natural and artificial), trying to breathe life into the decor. Everything is just put in precarious balance.
m) laying the template of the river, and the stable elements (houses, churches, ...) on the 2nd third: addition of tables, wooden boxes, crates, cartons, etc.. As I empty the storage containers, I use the relief.
n) electricity, paper cover rock, scenery, just like the 1st third
o) "last third of the same.
p) finish border fence and retaining public raised spots on it and wiring under the line of bark serves as a brake for children because it crackles when you walk on it!
q) setting different spots to find the optimum lighting while keeping cons days that give them charm and depth to the landscape.

It took me about 7 days for the crib alone for 15 hours per day on average

Other settings:
A Christmas scene of this size in a sad me immediately encouraged to decorate the temple. Each year a Advent calendar is organized in the village through the windows decorated. At the concert, Christmas stories, 24 and December 25, these dates are found on the windows of the Temple that I decorated also. The entrance vestibule, entrance and outside does not fail to put people in this unique atmosphere.

It still took about 3 more days intensive for any decor.

I arrive at the December 6 just drained, tired of this hyper-concentration, to open daily from 17h to 19h. Many alterations were necessary, I am never entirely satisfied, but this framework is 10 days required to stop at a certain time.
I still spends an afternoon or two to put up posters all over the Plateau and the Waldensian Broye fribourgeoise, shares with Olivier Blanc.
Back at home, I take to launch all-out mail (news, tourist offices, ...) for advertising and made some news articles and Olivier Blanc.

I am always present during opening hours until 23 December and I spend Christmas in Alsace still roots require. During these hours, I answer the questions why and how, I assure discipline and I do my self-criticism inside every night. It happens often enough to touch what is possible before the arrival of visitors.
At these moments, due to reflections of the latter, I go a little account to have a grain of folly to undertake such an achievement.

Outside opening hours the public, it is the groups that I get to go, as I mentioned previously: EMS, foundations and schools are scrambling to come see the nursery and a snack waiting for them at the end of visit.



She appeared in the years 1833 to 1838 near Hamburg, Germany. The crown of branches green symbolizes hope and the victory of life. The four candles have been interpreted in various ways, they represent:
- Four thousand years of waiting for the Birth of the Messiah, every Sunday reactualizing thousand years of waiting.
- The first candle symbolizes Adam, the second of the patriarchs, the prophets, third, fourth St John the Baptist.
- A large circular candelabra which were arranged twenty-eight candles (one candle for each day of Advent) is the ancestor of our crown, the latter being a precursor to the crown of thorns of Christ.

From the 1870s, every night is a meditation place of Advent. Groups of young people related to youth Protestants were then released this custom throughout Germany. It is only after the Second World War that this tradition has been massively popular in all circles.

CHRISTMAS SCENE back to menu

According to Luke (2. 1-20), Joseph and Mary had returned to Judea for the census: for lack of room at the inn, they were housed in a sheepfold.
Jesus was lying in a manger (crib animals cripia in Latin) installed in a cave, according to the apocryphal Book of Jacques (second century).
From the third century, Christians worship a manger in a cave in Bethlehem, believed to be the true place Witness Nativity.
The presence of a donkey and an ox, mentioned in the Armenian apocryphal Pseudo-Matthew auVIème century (considered true until the Council of Trent in 1553) has led the devotion of the "Nativity Scenes." The first nurseries, like those we know, are appearing in churches in the sixteenth century. Recognizing the power of these compositions, the Jesuits produce fine, especially in Prague in 1562, which are among the oldest known.
But in Italy, that the first nurseries in the modern sense, with Naples as its undisputed capital between the sixteenth and seventeenth century.
End XVIII, nurseries Baroque appear in the sumptuous aristocratic houses and remain a model of its kind. They are rich, elegant and sought throughout Europe until the mid eighteenth IXth century. In Protestant circles, they end up being discredited by their excessive wealth and idolatry gradually disappearing traditions. Only now, thanks to the tolerance that nurseries found their origins and understanding art than religious.

THE EPIPHANY back to menu

The Epiphany of Matthew (2. 1-12) evokes the Magi from the East, led by the Star of Bethlehem, to honor Child Jesus.
The number three, esotericism symbolic value and popular thought, is linked to three gifts: gold, incense, myrrh.
In 200 AD, Pope Tertullian, the father of the Primitive Church, raises the Magi as kings, in 753, the names become official and are fixed by tradition and usage: Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar. They symbolize the three ages of life and the three human races then known.
Long, January 6, Epiphany, was more important than Christmas Day. The symbolic gift brings the testimony; Gold Melchior celebrated royalty, incense Balthazar divinity and myrrh Gaspar announced the redemptive suffering of man coming in the guise of the Child. In some countries, the distribution of gifts was done or is always January 6.
The day of the January 6 concludes the cycle of Christmas and the Twelve Days. January 6 is the year really begins in ranging the splendor of Christmas.
La Galette des Rois is linked to celebrations of corporations during the Christmas cycle. At these festivals was always intoned " Das Bohnenlied "Song of the Bean or Bean, praising the deeds of the King and his retinue. The bean was well associated with excess of kingdoms and became the expression of saturation and the unbearable.
Since 1625, the tradition is very much alive: the Epiphany, in the Rhine valley, people used to bake cakes kings, each is a bean and the receiver is considered the king is made and so many kingdoms different ways. The king then chooses the queen that suits him.
La Galette des Rois is therefore a symbol of rebellion and mockery vis-à-vis the power of the time. Besides, June 6 1795 Convention of the French Revolution posed the question whether to replace the cake of the kings cake Equality!

DECEMBER 25 back to menu

The precise date of Christ's birth is unknown, the early church was reluctant to date. In the third century, the Pope Clement had placed April 18.
Only 354 that Pope Liberius was set for December 25, by starting the new year the same day.
The Eastern Church or the Orthodox rite giving more importance to January 6, Feast of the Epiphany December 25 is Birth of Jesus and January 6 that of Christ.
The early Church wanted to erase a pagan festival of the Sun, Sol Invictus of Mitthra.
The Romans also practiced rituals the festival of Saturnalia from December 17 to 23 and the revival of long days.
The French name Christmas come from "Nova" (New) or a contraction of Natalis Diae (the day of the Births).
The Germanic name means Weihnacht Night (Nacht) Sacred (Weih) December 25 to January 6.


The tradition of Christmas tree was born in Upper Alsace and Black Forest between the thirteenth and Fourteenth Century. Initially, cut some branches to decorate the "room" of the peasant. In 1521, mention is made of doubt cutting of trees to drill for Christmas in the City of Selestat.
In 1597, preliminary information on the background of the tree: wafers, apples, paper roses and son painted color appear. The apples are falling in and out of Paradise (Adam), the non-consecrated hosts also called forget meant redemption and the oming of Christ, the paper roses symbolized the `love and faithfulness of God for men but also evoked a belief related to the wonderful Christmas Eve who wanted some trees suddenly began to bloom during the Holy Night.
Also in XVlème century c `is Martin Luther and the reformers who made him the symbol of Christ's birth. The coniferous evergreen represented the tree of Paradise, which were hung symbols of life such as apples, nuts, cookies and paper roses. In XVllème, Christmas becomes a children's festival and celebration of collective evolves into a feast family in its intimacy.
Under Effect of Protestantism, the tree will migrate Street and gradually installed in homes.
Long, Catholics celebrating Christ through a representation of the manger, considered the Christmas tree as a pagan practice and Freemason.
This isn `that` the XIXth century when the nobility and kings in their living rooms adorned the people `s put it also in this the world.
1605: emergence of sweets and son of gold
1700: first "candl", but the wax is expensive, so we lit wicks soaking in nutshells of oil filled
1785: First real candles
1831: first tree in Lausanne
1850: First Christmas baubles in glass in Lorraine and in Bohemia, a severe drought and a winter so severe that it Thirty years later began production Industrial Meisenthal.
1871: The Christmas tree is even obligatory in schools in Alsace, Lorraine and Germany, the German administration trying to get accustomed to the old habit Germanic.

SAINT-NICOLAS back to menu

Saint-Nicolas was born around 270 in Asia Minor. Bishop of Myra, he performs miracles.
Patron saint of children, young people marry, traders and sailors, he is revered in the festivities of children since 1100.
Pending the visit of St Nicolas, the children were preparing "wooden prayer, on which they indicated the number of prayers recited before they visit. Each prayer was symbolized by a notch, all the ten prayers and accounted cross the many prayers made.
Some cheated a little and in this case, parents blackened their taps during the night by saying that St Nicolas had observed cheating.
When entering St Nicolas, children proudly showed their wooden prayer to show their zeal and diligence. St Nicolas then asked the parents if the children had been wise, who `s had been received gifts (apples, pears, walnuts, hazelnuts, gingerbread), others were threatened with lashes.
At St Nicolas that has traditionally been the distribution of gifts before the "competition" establishment Protestantism by a preacher at the Cathedral of Strasbourg in 1570. It `as the market presents St Nicolas turned into a Christmas market, and that delivery of gifts is gradually moved to Christmas Eve or Christmas same.

CHRISTMAS IN VAUD back to menu

For centuries, small Vaudois were content to receive Christmas cones walnuts or hazelnuts, with some candy that brought them, not the Good Child, which must come from across the Sarine, but Chauchevieille Mounted on his horse blind, Chauchevieille (in patois, tçauce-villha) was manifested especially in the last days of the year.
We saw old hunched, wrinkled face hair in disorder, and arched nose covered with rags. She knew very well discern the obedient children of others, and reward them.
It was a valuable milestone in the evolution of the witch in donor good Christmas.
Good Child Chauchevieille and are typically the Vaud, the Chauchevieille who disappeared in favor of the Good Child or Father Christmas.

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