More to Christmas than X-mas


    A 38-year-old tradition continues to bring together Malibuites during the holiday season.

    By Sylvie Belmond/Staff Writer

    Malibu’s uniqueness often reflects throughout the Malibu landscape, and the Christmas season brings out this notable trait annually.

    While people greet one another with holiday wishes and season’s greetings, some Malibuites want to make sure the true meaning of Christmas remains.

    Rain or shine, for 38 years the Keep Christ in Christmas (KCIC) project sets up a nativity crche at the busy corner of Webb Way and Pacific Coast Highway, offering passerby the opportunity to reflect on the religious roots of the holiday and to part take in the celebration.

    Founder Mary Kupper started with a dream of putting a nativity scene together. After many decades, she has passed on the baton of leadership for KCIC.

    The project offers a chance to the community to come together to sing and listen to inspirational messages on the four Sundays that precede Christmas.

    This year, the scene may have more meaning for many, because it represents a quieting tradition.

    “Christ’s birth may cause a little more pause and reflection than before because of the crisis the country has been in,” said Jack Corrodi, KCIC community chair.

    Leading the way for togetherness in a season intended to bring a peaceful message, the KCIC project enrolls the help of a multitude of local churches and clubs to set up and host events that take place throughout December.

    The Optimists Club, Rotary Club, Malibu Women’s Club, Lion’s Club, Garden Club, and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are just a few organizations that help out.

    After years of wear and tear, the crche and figurines are completely new because of the help these organizations have provided. The Optimists Club paid for and put up a new shed last week because the old one was becoming unsteady and unsafe.

    Janette Maginnis, executive director for the project, got involved because it reminded her of her childhood.

    “The last place I saw anything like it was in England where I grew up,” she said.

    The crche is also a uniting place for various Christian denominations.

    “There is a large group of churches in Malibu that are getting together, putting aside denominational differences,” said Corrodi.

    In December, two different churches from the community will host events at the crche at 1:30 p.m., each Sunday of Advent. Advent is a four-week period during which many Christians anticipated Jesus’ birth.

    There is also an art and essay contest that is currently taking place in various churches. This contest gets the children from all the churches in Malibu involved, said Bea Stoller, the art and essay workshop coordinator.

    This year’s theme is: Peace on earth and good will to people in all nations.

    “We give the children five questions and they write based on those questions,” said Stoller.

    Crowning the events, on Dec. 23, the Las Posadas procession will parade from the library to the crche with Spanish Flamenco dancers and children dressed in Spanish costumes. The procession will begin at 1:30 p.m.

    Our Lady of Malibu Monsignor John Sheridan, who was one of the original organizers, will give an inspirational message.