Matt Hurley of Hurley Auctions in Greencastle has been hosting a live Nativity scene for the community for the last three years.

This year's live Nativity will be held Friday, Dec. 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Hurley Auctions, 2800 Buchanan Trail East. It is free and open to the public. Donations of nonperishable food items will be accepted to be donated to local food banks.

Hurley originally started it for his kids to understand the real meaning of Christmas. “We teach it in our home, so I know they know the real meaning,” Hurley said. “I just get tired of all the commercialization of Christmas.”

The Hurley tradition of a live Nativity originated as a Christmas day walk with Hurley and his children along Route 16 dressed up like Mary, Joseph and the shepherds. Along with the family donkey and a toy baby Jesus, the Hurley family walked up and down the road and received quite a response from passing motorists.

“People stopped, took pictures and blew their horns," Hurley said. "After that, I said: ‘Guys, next time, we’re doing a live Nativity,’ and that’s kind of what got it to where it is now.”

The live Nativity includes two scenes: a manger scene with Mary, Joseph, the wise men and animals, including cows, sheep, a donkey, and goats; and a shepherd’s scene with sheep in a fenced area.

A narration of the Christmas story from Luke 2 plays outside by the Nativity scene every 15 minutes.

Hurley enlists the help of his wife, Shannon, their six children and his employees in bringing the Nativity scene to life. Many of the Nativity scene actors are youth missionaries and the Trinity Church choir will be providing live music.

Hurley jokes that it’s become a “major production," but he said, “We want this to be for the community — any denomination. We want people to be able to come and enjoy what we feel is the true meaning of Christmas. That’s what we’re focused on.

“We are excited to do this because Christmas can be such a wonderful time of year, but it can also be a crazy, stressful time of year for people. For us, it's so important to stop and take a deep breath, and recognize the true meaning of Christmas.”