This year's production of Abilene Baptist Church's singing Christmas tree will differ from previous versions.
Members and staff at the Martinez church will transport the audience into biblical times by retelling the story a grandfather tells his granddaughter.
The grandfather, a shepherd, tells his granddaughter about the night angels came and told all those present to visit Bethlehem, said Abilene music minister Tommy Sunderland.
About 90 members of the church's adult sanctuary choir will perform on a tiered, 30-foot wooden platform shaped like a Christmas tree, and decorated with lights, greenery and ornaments.
The choir will be accompanied by a 30-member orchestra and a cast of about 15 actors.
The story, called "Jesus, Our Treasure: The Presence of Our Christ," will be portrayed at 7 p.m. Dec. 10-12. A matinee performance will also be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 12.
During Easter, the church will continue the story by depicting the passion of Christ.
The singing Christmas tree attracts about 5,000 audience members throughout its three days, said Sunderland.
"It's great to be a part of our community with such an annual event like this that many people say starts their Christmas season," Sunderland said.
Those attending the event are asked to bring a new and unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
The event is free, but Sunderland said people should pick up tickets in advance before they're gone. The church can seat 1,000 people.
"Often we'll get to that last week and (for) one or more of the four presentations, tickets will be gone," he said.
Tickets can be reserved by visiting the second floor of the church's new education building near Washington Road at Columbia Road.
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