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Shop our Online Catalog: Nativity Sets

Nativity Sets have long history

The birth of Jesus is the biggest celebration of the Christian year. On that night, in Bethlehem, a baby was born in a stable. Lowly animals as well as angels from heaven came to greet him. It is said that three kings from the orient also followed a star and arrived to offer the baby precious gifts. This scene is reenacted thousands of times all over the world during the Christmas season. Each Christian family has Christmas nativity sets to display in their homes or gardens to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas.

 

There are many varieties of Christmas nativity sets, some are very valuable and some are hand made out of dough by children. All have special meaning and are valued for that, not for the price tag. There are very elaborate carved wooden sets that represent several stories from Jesus’ life. There are also Fontanini figures that are made in Italy by the same family for four generations. They are very realistic and are for indoors and outdoors. For children there are soft toys of the nativity, rubber ducks of the nativity and even cute cartoon characters of the nativity scene. There is also the nativity brought to life by vegetables. The carrot lights up and sings “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. These attract children to the birth of Jesus in a way they can relate to while you tell them the story and help them arrange the figures in the usual positions.

 

Christmas nativity sets are modeled after classic European paintings and early Bible illustrations. The largest in the world is in Switzerland, the Diorama Bethlehem in Einsiedeln, which looks like it is in Bethlehem and there are hundreds of carved figures that represent not only the birth of Jesus but also the journey of the three kings and the flight of Joseph, Mary and Jesus to Egypt among others. St. Francis of Assisi was the first to stage a production of the nativity. In Greccio, Italy in 1223 he staged the event in a stable where men and animals reenacted the scene. Since then the practice is continuing around the world. The word crèche was first used at this time, referring to the crib, a manger, where Jesus lay.

 

Outdoor Christmas nativity sets also come in many styles. Some are life sized and painted to look like real people and animals. Some are pure white like marble statues and strike a beautiful image among a grove of trees. There are wire frame figures outlined with tiny white lights and lighted plastic life sized sets. There is a sculpted, hand painted Christmas tree with the full story of the nativity displayed in decorations on the tree. The Krakow nativity set is made of paper, silver and gold foil, bits of plastic and faux jewels. They are gaudy and beautiful at the same time.

 

Christmas nativity sets were created to bring the birth of Jesus to life for people everywhere. No matter what your situation, small apartment or spacious front yard, there is a beautiful set to be a part of your Christmas decorations.

 

 

This article was published on Thursday 19 November, 2009.



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