Click on individual photos for larger pictures.

This page contains shots of a few of the many drama scenes of the Living Christmas Tree. It is only a small sample of what occurs. Since some 35 years of time must be compressed into 105 minutes and a medium-size auditorium, it should be obvious that some "poetic license" must be taken in order to make the production work. It attempts to be true to the Biblical account, but, in reality, it cannot contain very much. So we suggest that you take a few minutes and read again the story as told by Matthew and Luke.

Herod the Great, High Priest, others.
Photo by Mike Byers

Herod the Great with the High Priest.
Photo by Mike Byers

Herod & wife, High Priest.
Photo by Mike Byers

Every year the Music Department receives a number of letters telling how much the presentation of the LCT has meant to different people, and how it helped them better understand the true meaning of Christmas. Some of the most touching letters have come from the young men and women from Fort Knox who have been able to attend.

Various incidents and stories have also been reported over the past 17 years.
One of these (the "Rotating Rabbi Ascension") can be found near the end of the Technical Page and won't be repeated here.
It's hard to upstage an animal. This is also true for the LCT. The camel gets as much attention as any of the characters as it slowly walks through the auditorium several times (and once attempted to eat the flowers off of a lady's hat). People seldom get the opportunity to get this close to a camel (and many are not sure they want to!) All of the camels have been very well behaved, however; and the first one, "Peaches," became a real favorite of the audience.
One or two lambs are carried by the shepherds during one of the scenes (on the years that young lambs are available). As they are brought down the isle, they usually bleat plaintively several times, which always generates a great response from the audience. It's probably well that they aren't on stage any longer, or they would steal the whole show!

Mary and Joseph.

No room in the Inn!
Photo by Doug Ball

Room in the stable!
Photo by Mike Byers

Arrival of the Magi.
Photo by Mike Byers

The problem with animals is that they don't always want to follow the script. Herod the Great arrives at his palace in a chariot drawn by a single horse. On one occasion, just as Herod was stepping out of the chariot, the horse decided to reposition himself, causing the chariot to give a jerk. This threw Herod out of the chariot and onto the floor. No harm was done, but it did cause Herod to break character. He simply got up and went on with the show. The real Herod would most likely have had the horse executed on the spot!

Chariot crash, shot from Tree.

Herod's chariot must make a wide right turn in a very tight area. During one of the 1999 productions, the chariot was too far to the right, catching its wheel on the end of the front pew. As the soldiers attempted to free it, the rigid tongue broke, causing the chariot to suddenly tip forward, throwing Herod and his driver over the front of the chariot and under the rear feet of the horse! The horse never batted an eye. But it took a full minute for Herod and his driver to untangle themselves and get up, and to move the chariot out of the way!
How well we sometimes illustrate Murphy's Law!

For several years a donkey was used in two of the scenes, but his part was cut as he just didn't want to cooperate.
However, one year while the donkey was still a member of the cast, one of the choir members who was not in the Tree that year was sitting in the balcony during a performance. As the donkey walked through the scene, the choir member overheard a lady near her whisper, "Hump! As much as this church spends on this, it looks like they could afford a better donkey costume!"
        -- Poor donkey! We didn't realize he looked so bad!

While the program is not really recommended for children under about 7 years of age (it runs nearly 2 hours), younger children are often brought with the parents. In addition to the animals, kids like the Ascension Scene. The sight of Jesus suddenly rising from a huge cloud, then disappearing into another cloud, is very interesting. The young grandson of one of the church members was in town and was taken to the LCT by his parents. When he got back home, his grandfather asked him what he saw. He said, "Grandpa, I saw a horsie, a camel, and Jesus get blowed up!"
(Go to the end of the Technical Page for some stories about problems that developed during the ascension scene).

Annuncion, available light, from Tree.

Photo by Doug Ball

Cross of tiny lights.
Photo by Doug Ball

The Resurrection.

Return to the Living Christmas Tree Home Page. Thanks for stopping by.

Photographs on these pages by Mike Byers, Doug Ball, Shelby Ennis, and Lora Ennis.

These pages are not authorized by, nor sponsored by Severns Valley Baptist Church or its paid staff, but are an independent undertaking for the enjoyment of those interested in the LCT and what happens behind the scenes to create the production.