By Donna Laipply
Sewing has been a part of her life since she was four or five years old; that’s when Stacy Householder began sewing on buttons for her grandmother. Today she is responsible for costuming the 200 to 250 participants in the yearly Living Christmas Trees (LCT) performances at the Grace Brethren Church of Columbus, Ohio.
The Living Christmas Trees has been an annual production at the Columbus church since 1987. It involves 12 performances over a 10-day period and includes a 100-voice choir, 40-piece orchestra, and more than 600 behind-the-scenes volunteers.
Stacy volunteered to be in the first series of concerts. The actors portraying angels needed assistance getting into their costumes, and she found herself helping them dress.
Realizing that many of them became warm under the hot stage lights, she soon developed the prototype of a costume she felt would be cooler. Her ability to visualize and create costumes was discovered!
Seeing the personality of fabric and envisioning how to best use the material is “truly a gift from God,” claims Stacy. “It’s not me and I want to use this gift however He wants me to,” she adds.
Stacy goes on to say that there are so many others who do so much more than she, describing herself as “just a cog in the wheel.”
Costuming begins in September, as soon as cast members are determined. Measurements are taken and conversations are held with the directors to understand the concept of songs, dances, and the time period to be portrayed. The production not only includes a Bible-times depiction of the birth and life of Christ, the first act features contemporary songs that require a variety of costumes.
Actual sewing begins early in October with a six-week window for getting everything done.
“The women who volunteer to sew every year are the biggest blessing,” according to Stacy. “I have learned so many hints, tips, and techniques from them — not just about sewing, but about life and their walks with Christ.”
At the church, Stacy also sews for GraceKIDS Choir concerts, decorates the church’s Family Center for Adventure Camp, and assists with wedding decorations. A recent project involved making a floor map of the Middle East for KIDS Gathering.
Donna Laipply attends the Grace Brethren Church of Columbus, Ohio. This story, with edits, is reprinted with permission from Grace News. This year’s production of the Living Christmas Trees will be held December 7-9 and 12-16. For more information, click here.