For three generations, the Willyerd family has been helping tell the story of the birth of Christ.
When Union United Methodist Church launched "The Living Christmas Story" in 1994, Randy and Betty Herbert Willyerd took their places in the cast along with their son and two young daughters.
The couple has remained a part of the drive-thru Nativity the past 16 years and this year welcomed a third generation to the cast, following the birth of their grandchild eight weeks ago.
"This is a part of the holidays for us," Betty Willyerd said of the family's annual journey, which will have played out before more than 100,000 guests by the end of this weekend.
"We can't imagine not doing it."
"The Living Christmas Story" provides snapshots from the biblical account of the birth of Christ.
As it has since the first year, the Irmo church's parking lot has been transformed into a representation of the first Christmas, offering a visual account of the events up to and including the birth.
The 18 scenes include Gabriel's appearance to Mary, the journey to Bethlehem, the angel's appearance to the shepherds, King Herod's court and the Nativity scene, complete with cattle, goats, a camel and other livestock.
Helping illustrate the period are blacksmiths, weavers, fishnet menders, market vendors, beggars and others representing the period.
In the pageant's first year, Randy portrayed King Herod, while Betty and the children -Thomas, Lindsey and Mandy - were villagers. They later added Betty's nephew, James Thomas, and this year they welcomed Lindsey's fiance, Wes Prichard, and the couple's daughter, Braylen Prichard, who is portraying the baby Jesus.
The family filled the roles of villagers and shepherds earlier this weekend and will assume the role of the Holy Family tonight and again Sunday.
"I think we've done just about every role," Lindsey said.
In the process, they've had to adhere to some strict guidelines (no waving, no chewing gum, no cell phones) while adapting to some unpredictable weather conditions.
"We've done rain. We've done cold. We've done warm," Betty said.
What keeps them coming back, they all agree, is the joy they get from sharing the special Christmas gift with the community.
"It's really cool to see the minivans packed, to see the children's faces," Lindsey said. "It's just so rewarding to see how you touch people's lives."
But the family said their own lives have been impacted as well, noting there's a special bond with the roughly 500 people who make up the two shifts.
At the end of each night, carolers from the church follow the last car through the presentation and are joined by cast members along the route until they reach the manger scene, where the entire group closes in prayer.
Betty said that unity helps keep the message of Christmas at the forefront.
"It would be very easy for something like this to become theatrical," she said. "But then you remember the reason that you're doing it and the story to be told."