Christmas spirit is just a car ride away

The Drive Thru Nativity at Community Christian Church in Tujunga features “flying” angels, animals and live actors. It takes place Dec. 10-11.

Tujunga church welcomes guests to Drive-thru Nativity scenes Dec.10 and Dec. 11.

For flying angels, roaming livestock and traveling wise men, head west — to Tujunga. For the tenth year, Community Christian Church of the Foothills is presenting its Drive-thru Nativity Scenes for the public.

According to church elder Chet Stilabower, the event is a powerful celebration of the joy that the Christmas season represents.

“It’s a pretty incredible experience,” said Stilabower of the presentation, which includes projected images and live actors and live animals.

Cars are directed to slowly drive through a path that showcases various scenes of the nativity story, including live actors portraying Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the angel on high and the wise men.

Luminaries are placed along the path that offer additional lighting for the autos.

The drive-thru nativity scenes are the brainchild of several church members who wanted to create a community outreach opportunity. In the past, approximately 2,000 people took part in viewing the two-day presentation that is offered free to the community.

Turning left at the next entrance on the left there is a coffeehouse for people to sit and relax and enjoy a free cup of coffee or hot chocolate and cookies if desired. If the visitors choose, they also have the opportunity to enter a special “prayer area” to meet with church representatives.

Driving either direction on Foothill Boulevard in Tujunga will be large lighted signs directing people where to turn.

The church’s pastor Bob Snyder said that the unique presentation is a wonderful way to “get outside the four walls and reach out to the community.” Snyder meets with other leaders in the faith community and has found them to be supportive of the Drive-Thru Nativity Scenes. He has enlisted their help this year in getting the word out about the event.

This project has touched those outside the immediate area, from Lancaster to Santa Ana and south of Los Angeles. The entire church congregation gets involved, whether baby sitting, directing traffic or performing in one of the scenes.

“One of the values of the program is that every person [in the congregation], from kids to seniors, has something to contribute,” Snyder said.

But transforming a Tujunga church into a manger in Bethlehem takes time and money. An estimated $2,000 to $3,000 is being spent on five tons of sand, plants, rocks and materials to create the scenes, Stilabower said, adding that it is money well spent.

“We all work together and it’s very unifying for the congregants,” he said. “It’s a very uplifting and emotional experience.”

Despite the work, Snyder said he is grateful for the chance to make such a positive impact on the community and offer it at no charge to guests.

“We at Community Christian Church consider it a privilege to be able to provide the scenes,” he said.

The Drive-thru Nativity Scenes take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Dec.10 and 11. The event is part of Community Christian Church of the Foothills located at 10193 Tujunga Canyon Blvd. in Tujunga, just north of Foothill Boulevard.

To learn more, visit the church website at