It's that most wonderful time of the year, when the Cathedral creche collection opens to the public and invites you to explore the wonder of Christmas, with the Holy Family interpreted across multiple cultures and customs.

This year’s exhibit, “Born This Happy Morning,” runs through February 3, 2024and is included with general Cathedral admission. Visitors are invited to explore more than 100 the depictions of the Nativity throughout the Cathedral’s crypt level.

Some highlights from this year’s show:

  • 61 countries are represented, from Argentina to Zimbabwe
  • 17 U.S. states are also represented
  • Materials include ignite coal from North Dakota; slate from Wales; volcanic ash from Mount St. Helens; dried seed pods from Honduras; driftwood from coastal Alabama; tiny glass beads used both by the Huichol people of Mexico and the Zulu nation of South Africa; and the root of  a coffee plant from Costa Rica

Also be sure to look for a rooster from Brazil, where tradition holds that he is especially blessed, as it was his call that first told the world that Christ was born; a beaded frog from Mexico, a symbol used in the ancient faith of the Huichol indigenous people; an African bull cast in bronze in Ghana; a beaded lion and zebra made by the Zulu nation of South Africa; a felted wool yak from Tibet; and a shaggy highland cow from a soft-sculpture nativity from Scotland.

Special thanks to Lori and Chip Amos, the volunteer curators of our annual display. The Cathedral is the proud home of more than 600 Nativity sets, a gift from longtime docent and supporter Beulah Sommer. 

The gallery below shows some highlights from the Cathedral collection, and we’re excited to learn which is your favorite.


Kevin Eckstrom

Chief Public Affairs Officer