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Nativity Figures Have Deep History

The holidays are just around the corner and we like to decorate inside and outside to help keep us in the spirit. One way we can decorate is setting up a nativity scene with figurines. The tradition of the nativity scene began in the 13th century with St. Francis of Assisi. We continue this tradition today. Nativity figures come in all sizes and we need to think about what types of figures we want and what we have room for. You can purchase different sized nativity figurines and figures made from different materials.

You can look for wood, porcelain, pewter, clay and plastic figures. The material that the figurines are made from will affect the cost of the figures. Figurines also come in different sizes.  You can choose sizes from one inch to 15 inches for indoors. Determining what you prefer can determine the price. Some people will collect nativity figures and nativity sets. Something nice to consider is buying a new figure each year to add to your set. Some cultural sets include materials from their native land and some of the smaller options can also be made from blown glass.

The selections of nativity figures also come in sets. There are sets of three with Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus and there are larger sets which include the three Magi and animals to create the scene of the stable. Some are larger to include the star of Bethlehem and an angel to watch over the child. Creating a larger set one piece at a time will allow you to add to your set each year and can become a family tradition with relatives gifting figures to add each year.  This will also help with the cost since a new piece each year can reduce the cost of your set or you can spend more on each piece since you are not buying the set all at once.

 There are sets that are children approved. The children can handle and play with the nativity figures to aid with learning the story of the birth of Christ. They can tell you the story each year with the figures in the sets and learn about the roles of each figure in the set. This sharing of the story can provide a visual telling that the whole family can enjoy. The child proof sets are also easier to display since children are meant to touch them. Make sure your nativity sets are child proof since this will determine where you place your display. Some of the smaller figures can be choking hazards to children.

The holidays can be a great way to express yourself and there are many ways you can express yourself with nativity figures. You can choose the materials for your figures and the size that you want. You can also choose to create your own family traditions by creating your own nativity sets. Beginning in the 13th century and continuing today we can display our holiday spirit by displaying a nativity set that expresses our visions of the story of the birth of Christ.

This article was published on Tuesday 17 November, 2009.

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