They had lights, steel, space and a unique set of skills. So, given the opportunity, a team of seven workers at Loadcraft Industries put their efforts together to craft a distinctive Christmas display - one that without question keeps Christ in Christmas.
The silhouetted steel Nativity is something to see just off Parkway Drive behind and across the street from Chicken Express in Early. At night the figures of Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus lying in a manger are outlined in lights. By day, the basic figures are distinctively simple.
Loadcraft Industries, which purchased R&S Industries late last year, and makes steel parts and pieces for a variety of industrial projects, has hardly had time to get the company's name on the building. But with Christmas coming, "boss" Reece McIver reminded Loadcraft operations manager Bobby Till there were a lot of Christmas lights left over from last year's lighted rig at the Brady plant.
"Reece said we needed a Christmas decoration here," Till said, "and I had on my mind we would do a Nativity."
From concept, to draft, to design, to cut-out, to installation when the project was "set up and ready to see," Till said he and six other Loadcraft employees had the project completed in about a week.
"About the toughest thing was getting the hay to spread around the base of it," Till said. "Hay's pretty hard to come by, but one of our guys brought us a bale. The whole thing was a team effort from the start."
Till said the first day the decoration was up it got positive comments.
"One lady came in here just to thank me she was so glad to see we were keeping Christ in Christmas," Till said. "To me, there wasn't another consideration."
"We're getting lots of comments and compliments, and that makes us glad," said Kevin Glenn, the CNC programmer at Loadcraft who cut out the plate. "We're a Christian faith company. This was a chance to show our faith."
Glenn said the team at Loadcraft has the capability "of building almost anything. Building something like the Nativity, the subject may be unique but it's normal, every day what we do."
But now, team members say, they've started something.
"We're planning to add to it every year. Next year I'd like to add the wise men, maybe a star and some camels."
"I've got a graphic for that," Glenn said. "We can do it."