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The Christmas Community Putz & the Star & Candle Shoppe

Christmas Putz Book

OPENING THIS YEAR, 2017 ON FRIDAY, November 24 from 1 - 7 p.m. Two very special and unique offerings are available to visitors during the Advent and Christmas season in the Christian Education Building, lower level.

Christmas Putz

Sometimes referred to as “Central’s gift to the community”, the Christmas Putz is a retelling of the story of Christ’s birth through narration and music, while tiny lights illuminate each miniature scene.  Putz is from the German word “putzen” meaning to decorate.  The figures in Central’s Putz, many of them antiques of German origin, are displayed amidst live moss, driftwood and rocks.    The building of a putz is unique to the Moravians and Bethlehem’s first settlers brought their figures with them when they settled here.  In later years, families would visit each others’ homes to view the putzes. Central’s Putz was first opened in 1937.

Christmas Putz Early in November, a group of volunteers travel to the Pocono Mountains to gather the live moss, which forms the base of the Putz. Later in November, construction begins, figures are placed, lighting is arranged and families enjoy the fellowship of this work together.  Along with the live moss, bark and tree stumps help to set the scene. The landscape appears to be that of rolling hills, deserts (with sand), trees, streams, farm and home scenes which help to tell the story in a realistic fashion.

Help us with Construction of the Putz! Contact the church office for more info. 

Moss Gathering - Sunday, November 5, Construction starts Sunday, Nov. 11 (after church).

2017 Putz Public Hours (there is no charge to visit the Putz)

The Putz will open on Friday, November 24 this year from 1 - 7 p.m.

Before Christmas hours:

Thursday and Friday: 1 pm - 7 pm

Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm

Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm

(Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)

After Christmas hours (last day Dec. 31):
Daily: 1 pm – 5 pm

Showings are every half hour.

Christmas PutzAll tour groups should contact the church office to make their reservations; we do accept reservations for large groups outside of public putz hours. 

The Christmas Putz is located on the lower level of the Christian Education building, 40 W. Church Street  The driveway precedes the historic Sister’s House.  The door is located on the west side of the building, facing Main Street.

Winter Weather Policy

We follow the Bethlehem Area School District closing and morning delays.  We are closed when a WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for Northampton County, PA by the National Weather Service.   Please check the main home page of the website for weekend closures.

Star and Candle Shoppe

Christmas PutzOn the same level as the Putz is the Star and Candle Shoppe. Many unique hand-crafted gifts and special Moravian items are for sale here. They include:

  • Folded German stars
  • Moravian star ornaments, large illuminated stars and star earrings
  • Handmade jewelry
  • Moravian and holiday greeting cards
  • The best selling book and guide to Historic Bethlehem: Let Us Go Over to Bethlehem by the Revs. Doug Caldwell and Carol Reifinger
  • The Moravian Christmas Putz and Christmas In Bethlehem by Vangie Sweitzer
  • Central Moravian Church’s CDs – An Old Fashioned Moravian Christmas, Christmas Eve at Central Moravian Church, Favorite Hymns at Central, To God All Praise & Glory, and Be Still My Soul - all featuring Rebecca Lepore, Director of Music.
  • Baked goods and many more crafts and specialty items

The hours for the Star & Candle Shoppe are the same as for the Putz.