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Christmas Nativity Sets Hallmark of the Season

A depiction of the scene in a stable when Jesus was born, with his mother Mary, his father Joseph the three kings or magi, angles and animals, usually sheep, donkeys and camels is called the nativity scene. This is displayed during the Christmas season in homes, churches and malls, intended put the focus of Christmas back on the birth of Jesus and not so much on Santa Clause. Christmas nativity sets come in every size and material and some even with live actors and animals to give verisimilitude to the moment.


Small Christmas nativity sets are available online and in shops that can be displayed in a window or on a table as a Christmas decoration in your home. They can be very simple with just Jesus, Mary and Joseph, or they can be very elaborate with angles, kings and animals all gathered around the baby Jesus. They are made of plastic, wood and ceramic and can be small enough for a table top or larger for an entry way or front porch. Life sized sets can be displayed outdoors on the front lawn with lights, to look beautiful at night.


Some Christmas nativity sets that can be bought are very intricate wood carvings with beautiful figures and buildings that are truly works of art and should be carefully saved to be handed down in your family for generations to come. These hand carved wooden sets can be bought complete, all at once or one figure at a time, adding to it every year. Outdoor nativity sets that are life sized are beautifully crafted to look alive and are made of weather-proof material to withstand the rain and snow of the season. If you have a front yard or garden that is suitable, these life sized figures will look impressive.


There are Christmas nativity sets that are craft items for children to cut out, color and paste on paper or wood or felt pieces to arrange on a felt board. There are also stencils and puppets available for children to participate in the decorations. Children can make a nativity scene out of clay as a Christmas activity. They can paint the figures, build little stables and add hay and trees. Small nativity sets with different themes, some of them modern are also available. The settings may be a street, barn or house but they are beautifully made with every detail and will fit under your Christmas tree.


Christmas nativity sets today are based on the models from three centuries ago in Europe. The most popular model was the German crèches made in the seventeenth century. The Italian presepio, which was smaller, was also used as a model for today’s nativity figures. Copies of these are available online. The largest nativity set in the world is in Switzerland and looks like a scene out of Bethlehem. It has hundreds of figures and tells several stories including the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt, the journey of the three kings and more. Any size or style of nativity set will add warmth to your Christmas decorations.



This article was published on Saturday 31 October, 2009.

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