Wednesday, November 30, 2011

numerous nativities

I love nativities. What I realized today while photographing them for you is that a lot can be learned about a culture or an individual by how they make their nativities, how they portray the natal night, and what elements they choose to include or exclude in their tableau.

This is the first nativity I bought after we got married. It is supposed to be 'Celtic' and is based on some figures found in Britannia.

It did not come with a stable and the Gothic arch would seem to make a stable unnecessary, however, the pieces are not particularly stable and so I found a stable was a good way to organize the scene and keep the pieces from falling over.

These pieces are from some sort of sand composite.

I bought this nativity because I love that it is a 'cave,' which many feel is most likely the kind of stable that Mary and Joseph found themselves in the night that Jesus was born.

It isn't resin, it is cast and I am not sure what it is cast from - it is very heavy. It stays out all year round.

When C was born, I wanted some child safe nativities. At the time, the options were limited and I could find nothing I liked for a price I liked so I bought these two from Oriental Trading of all places. The girls have thoroughly enjoyed them through the years.

Someday, my grandbabes will play with these. :)

I found this one when the girls were little. It is just a cheesy plastic piece that if you press the button tells the natal story in an old-fashioned narrator's voice interspersed with bits from Handel's Messiah. It is very tinny sounding but it rather tickled my fancy as something the girls would like plus it somehow had its own charm. It was very inexpensive so I bought two. I plan to give them to the girls when their children are about two (the narration/music is very, very loud!!).

The upside is the girls are familiar with a bit of the Messiah, love it, and can sing it.

I bought this resin set for the girls too - fully expecting it to get mangled. I have an extra set tucked away for when the girls are a bit older. I am not sure I  trust K not to break something yet.

A couple of years ago, while hubs and I were in Mexico, we bought these for the girls.

I think there is something terribly sweet in the little girl above that holds the flowers.

The star cut-outs on the cactus are charming too.

This is a Mikasa crystal nativity that my MIL gave me (the cross-stitch behind is from my mother - she used to have a wooden plaque in the kitchen with the proverb on it).

I have a love/hate relationship with my in-laws. However, despite our difficulties, my FIL seems to have a soft-spot for me. Over the years, he will find things that make him think of me and very thoughtfully purchase them for me. This particularly nativity is one such item.

Interestingly, it is the only nativity I have where baby Jesus can be removed from his manger.

I want the girls to have things to take with them when they leave home that they remember from childhood - these nativities are cheap. They were only a dollar - but I rather like their rusticness.

About five years ago, Tim finally got something that he had talked about for years, but which I had never seen and which his mother had given to his sister. This is a nativity she bought at Pic-N-Save when she first got married. Some of the pieces still have the 'Made in Japan' stickers on them. They are, I believe, plaster. My MIL thinks they are ugly. My husband has always loved them. A few years ago, they came in a package for Thanksgiving.

My favorite piece is the angel. She has lost her head on one occasion and her left wing on another (at full size you can see the glue lines).

Tim always liked this set for the wisemen. He loved how diverse they were.

So there you have it my nativities. I have same nativity limoge boxes somewhere too but I don't know if or when I will find them. :)


  1. I also love nativities. Each one is precious. Once life settles down a bit, I'd love to find some more. :)

  2. What a wonderful collection and your pictures are lovely. I got the same Oriental trading set for my kids! I also have a cheesy plastic set from when they were very little that they insist on displaying every year.

  3. You have an absolutely wonderful Nativity collection. The celtic version is exquisite. Thank you for photographing it and sharing it with us. The bell-shaped stable for the Mexican creche is also very unique.
    PS While I type this my girls are playing with two different Nativity sets at our coffee table so I had to giggle.

  4. Wow, you have an enormous collection and all tell a different story. I especially enjoy the cactus one. ♥O

  5. They're beautiful all in their own special way! I love the celtic style one and the cactus one. Beautiful.

  6. They are all gorgeous and so precious that you are collecting some of them for your daughters. A little closer to Christmas, I will show off one we got in Jerusalem.