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For many people, Christmas just isn't Christmas without a nativity scene. Large nativity sets that decorate the front lawn are a special way to share your enjoyment of the Christmas story with your friends and neighbors. With the many options available, you can find a nativity that will fit in any size yard and will match any design style.
One piece nativity scenes are compact decorations that are easy to set up. They are perfect for people who want to display a large lighted nativity in their yards but have limited space.
Plastic nativity sets are a great option for people who want durability and versatility. Since the people and animals are all separate figurines, you could opt to just use the nativity family some years and put out the entire set other years. This flexibility is very important for people who like to change the way they set up their yard displays each year.
Wire framed sets have the same benefits of plastic nativities with the additional advantage of offering an updated look. People who want a more modern looking nativity should be happy with wire sets.
No matter which set you choose for your yard, don't be surprised if it becomes a magnet for neighborhood children. What child wouldn't be fascinated by the story of Christmas reproduced in life size figurines?
If you have a home that is too casual for a porcelain Nativity, or you simply prefer an unbreakable material, you may want to look at purchasing a wooden Nativity set. What's great about a wooden Nativity set is that many times the set is actually handmade, which means a lot of time, care and effort goes into the design of the set. You know you will be buying a unique high quality Nativity that will last for years to come.
You can purchase a Jim Shore Nativity in separate pieces, such as a stable that is handcrafted wood and costs about $50, or you can purchase an entire Nativity set that includes ten pieces of the Nativity for around $85.
If you wish to get a bit more creative and purchase a Nativity that looks a bit different, perhaps you might choose a Jim Shore stone resin Christmas Nativity scene. This Nativity has a beautiful cabin stable adorned with background scenes that accentuate the Nativity. This type of Nativity will add a unique touch to celebrating the reason for the season.
Have you thought about putting a life size Nativity set outside on your front lawn at Christmas time? If you weren't sure where to purchase one or if you thought the life size Nativity might look tacky, you can think again. First, you can purchase one on the Internet or in some retail chain stores throughout the country. Second, with nicely made Nativity pieces that are life size, you can have a classy looking display.
Many of the life size Nativity pieces light up with the use of a C7 light bulb that is included with the Nativity piece. You can purchase a life size baby Jesus for about $24. The Three Wise Men are plastic and made with beautiful colors and need three 60-watt light bulbs. These men range in size from 40 to 61 inches and will make a beautiful display in your front lawn come Christmas time for about $45.
Of course, you will also need Mary and Joseph and a manager for baby Jesus. The life size Mary and Joseph also light up and are quite lovely. With the manager in which you can lay your life sized baby Jesus. Your life sized Nativity set will be sure to impress neighbors for an additional $15. Don't forget to add the necessary animals and your collection will be complete!
Nativity sets do not have to be traditional table-top sets. It can be something more fun and unique, such as a cookie cutter Nativity set. Why not let the kids bake cookies in the shape of the Nativity to give as gifts? People will surely enjoy getting and eating an edible gift that represents what Christmas is all about. At less than $20 for a Nativity cookie cutter set, you may have a hard time thinking of a more reasonable gift, or a yummier one.
Or how about making a set out of playdough to make as ornaments that keep from year to year? The dough will harden and with the application of a simple pottery glaze found at any craft store, you can then keep these fun treasures forever.
Another fun Nativity scene is a holographic Nativity that can be used indoors or outdoors to celebrate the Nativity. Indoor/Outdoor nativity scenes such as these come with lawn stakes, stand and a power cord to ensure easy set up. You can even display a plastic Nativity on your front lawn. Gone are the days of the fake looking plastic lawn ornaments. Today's plastic Nativity sets are realistic and are a fun way to represent the Nativity outdoors. Nativities are a holiday tradition for many households but the nativity display itself can be different, unique and fun.
Many children do not realize that Christmas is celebrated differently in other parts of the world. From Yule logs to Saint Lucia, children in other cultures have special holiday traditions. Some of these traditions are centered around the Christmas nativity. Why not have a multicultural celebration this year with your children? They'll learn about how other cultures celebrate the holidays and they just may decide that they'd enjoy incorporating some of the different traditions into your family's Christmas celebrations in future years.
In Mexico, the nativity has a special place in Christmas activities. Entire neighborhoods celebrate with an event they call Posada. This is a tradition where children recreate Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem by having a parade of neighborhood kids go from house to house asking for shelter. Many times, they carry a nativity with them. The adults have already decided which house will invite the kids in and that family puts together a party for the children and their parents.
If you have a rich cultural heritage, you may prefer to look for traditions that your ancestors celebrated instead. To find out more about your holiday heritage, you should:
Choosing a Nativity scene can be difficult because there are so many out there. You may want to consider purchasing a Nativity set that has a name brand that can stand behind it, thus ensuring that you will get the best Nativity for your money. Fontanini Nativity Sets are beautiful and well made, so you know you will have a great keepsake for years to come. You can purchase one piece at a time or entire collections should you so wish.
Another brand name you may wish to look at is the Willow Tree Nativity. Made of resin, this Nativity will be a delightful addition to your home. The design of the Willow Tree will make for a beautiful display, but it is also affordable. You can purchase pieces that range from two inches to nine inches separately for the Nativity, or you can buy a set that has the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, a donkey and a shepherd for a little over $60.
If you love Precious Moments you may want to consider purchasing a Precious Moments Nativity to help celebrate the season. These Nativity scenes are made with ivory porcelain painted in beautiful colors. Figurine sizes range from a little over one inch to a little over three inches. For about $150 you will receive Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, three Wisemen and five nativity animals to make your Christmas bright.
Having Willow Tree, Fontanini or Precious Moments Nativities to adorn your home each Christmas will not only be a discussion piece for years to come, but will also become a family heirloom that can be passed down from one generation to the next.
You carefully arrange your nativity set on your Christmas tree skirt and take a step back to admire the result. While the figurines are beautiful, it seems as though something is missing. Perhaps the problem is that they are dwarfed by the ornament covered tree. You move them to the coffee table, the mantle and the bookshelf. No matter where that lovely nativity scene is set up, it looks wrong. You're staring at the figurine when you realize the problem. You didn't shop for a nativity stable.
Nativity stables are a great way to provide a backdrop for your figurines. They add realism and interest to the nativity display and are a great way to make the Christmas story easier for children to understand.
You can find beautiful olive wood nativity stables in very simple designs or with lovely hand carved details. These stables have a rustic simplicity that will allow the nativity figurines to shine. Moss covered stables are another rustic option.
If you would like to find a stable that matches the style of your cozy country home, you may want to take a look at a Jim Shore stable. These stables are designed to match Jim Shore nativity sets but can be purchased separately if you want to use your current nativity set.
There are two very classy Nativity sets that people can display in their homes for a more modern touch or an international feel.
One that gives you a more modern feel is an iron Nativity set, even though it has an old appeal to it. A hand made and hand painted 10-piece Nativity set is sure to brighten up your home with its vibrant colors and modern look. For about $80 you can purchase an iron Nativity set on line or look for them elsewhere. A Nativity set such as this can be used either indoors or can be displayed outdoors as well.
An example of a Nativity set that offers the owner an international feel is a Nativity set made of wood. A 13-piece wood carved Russian Nativity set may be the perfect Nativity for a home that wants a more international flare in their home. The wood is hand carved and painted with subtle and lovely colors that will go with just about any decor. The set is actually made in Russia and costs about $300.
Whatever type of Nativity set you choose, whether it be a wood set or an iron set, you will know when you see it if it will be a good fit for your home this Christmas!
If you don't want to display a Nativity set on a table top or shelf somewhere because you don't have the space or you want to show off other figurines, you may want to consider a Nativity Set that hangs on your tree in the form of Christmas ornaments.
With a 12-piece miniature Nativity ornament set, you get all the essential people involved with the Nativity, in tiny ornament form to hang on your Christmas tree. Ornament sets such as these look like they are made from wood but are actually made from resin. Their wood-like appearance gives them a hand-made look. You can easily complete an entire Nativity set in one easy purchase when purchasing a 12 piece Nativity set. Each ornament is 3/4 of an inch to almost two inches, so the entire set will not take up much room on your Christmas tree if space is important.
If you wanted you could even display this set somewhere other than your tree. Because this Nativity set is so tiny, it is sure to not take up much space anywhere you set it. At only $9, a miniature Nativity set is not only a space saver; it is also easy on your wallet!
You've been collecting Precious Moments figurines for quite a few years. You even used a pair of these sweet little children as cake toppers on your wedding cake. Since you are such a fan of these adorable porcelain figurines, it is no surprise that you looked for a Precious Moments nativity when you decided you wanted a new nativity set.
The three piece nativity includes a boy and girl dressed as Joseph and Mary and a baby dressed as Jesus. The set has all the personality and sweetness that the rest of the Precious Moments figurines have and is sure to be a treasured addition to your collection.
If you collect other figurines, you may be interested in taking a look at Department 56's nativity set. This set is only available through bronners.com and is a wonderful addition to your Department 56 village display.
For people who enjoy adding new figurines to their collection each year, Jim Shore nativity pieces may be the perfect option. Jim Shore has several different nativity families. In addition, there are quite a few other nativity related pieces you can add to your collection. Wise Men, camels, shepherds, angels and even palm trees are available for these sets.
You'd like to start displaying a nativity each Christmas, but you aren't sure if there is a set that will work with your home's décor. Actually, with all the Christmas nativity sets available, you're going to have to start worrying about narrowing down your choices, instead.
For people who are short on space, miniature nativities are a smart idea. You can find a set from Jim Shore that fits easily into an area as small as a foot and includes a stable and individual figurines. If you want a nativity that is even smaller, maybe a nativity contained in a nut shell will work. Elaborate nativity ornaments can hang on a tree or an ornament stand.
If you are concerned about storage space, but you prefer to display a set that is larger than some of the miniature options, perhaps a set of stacking nativity dolls will work for you. These dolls create a substantial display when they are un-stacked, but the entire nativity can be stored in a single doll when the Christmas season is over.
For people who are more worried about the style of the nativity then space, there are many different options. Iron, wood and porcelain figurines provide a wide range of materials from which to choose. You can find country Jim Shore nativity sets, folk art Russian figurines or elegant Fontanini designs.
You want to create your entire Christmas scheme around your outdoor nativity set this year, but you aren't quite sure how to do it. Should you avoid using lights? What about your eight foot high inflatable Santa Claus? To set up a display that makes your nativity the focal point, consider one of these ideas:
Your kids are bored and restless. They feel a bit under the weather, but they aren't sick enough to stay in bed and are tired of watching movies. As you are wracking your brain for ideas to entertain them, you see that the new nativity set is still in its box. Is there any way nativity sets can be exciting for children?
Setting up a nativity scene can be a lot of fun for children. There are animals, the baby Jesus and interesting characters to be arranged. Of course, just putting the figurines in the right spots won't take very long. However, there are several ways to stretch this activity out so that it lasts longer.
You want your family to spend more time thinking about the reason for the Christmas season instead of making lists of gifts you have to buy or putting together holiday social calendars that are packed with parties. Since you know that the best way to make a change is to start with yourself, you are shopping for nativity scenes. After all, if one of these sets doesn't remind people of the miracle of the birth of Jesus, what will?
A nativity scene is a great idea for any family, and you can build many wonderful traditions around one. However, if you have small children, you may want to set up the scene in a spot where it is easy to see but hard to reach.
If you can't find a spot that is out of reach, consider buying a set that isn't breakable. Few preschoolers understand the story of Jesus completely. They see a baby without a cute outfit or toys sitting in a pile of hay and think they are doing it a favor by moving it into the doll house. They see the sheep and think that it would be fun to play farmer. It is a bit frustrating to hunt down the missing Nativity pieces, but they can be set right back in place, while a fragile glass or porcelain set may not survive your child's curiosity.
When you decided you wanted to buy a nativity set, you had no idea there'd be so many different types. Now, you're feeling a bit overwhelmed. How are you going to decide which of the many nativities is right for you? While there are quite a few options to choose from, you can narrow your selection to two or three nativities fairly easily by asking yourself a few basic questions.
People looking for a more natural looking Nativity set without a lot of color and bright paint, may want to look into a driftwood Nativity set. These Nativity sets are made from ceramic but have driftwood accents that are painted in neutral, soft colors for a natural look.
Many driftwood Nativity sets come with 11 pieces including the Holy Family, the Three Wise Men, a donkey, a cow and a camel is sure to add a decorative, yet tasteful touch to any home decor. For about $120 online you can purchase this well made Nativity set for your home.
Driftwood Nativity sets are a quality way to display the Nativity. When shopping for a Nativity set, keep a driftwood Nativity in mind for an understated appeal.
As previously mentioned, you can purchase a set of 12 Christmas ornaments that symbolize the Nativity. If you aren't interested in having an entire 12-piece Nativity ornament set, then you shop for some really cool individual Christmas ornaments that have a Nativity scene on them.
One such ornament would be a Nativity silhouette light Christmas ornament. This cool Nativity ornament isn't like your ordinary ornaments. Not only does this Christmas tree ornament have a silhouette of the Nativity on it, it also lights up when you put a small light in the back of it. This light can be one of your Christmas tree lights that are strung around your tree. You simply insert one of the single lights into the back of the ornament and you have a lighted Nativity silhouette.
Another cool Nativity Christmas tree ornament is actually a set of ornaments, but not your typical set that is put on a tree. This 9 piece glass ornament Nativity actually comes with its own gold foiled ornament stands in which you can hang the ornaments from. This saves you space on your tree and makes a really cool decoration anywhere in your home during Christmas. If you are worried about storing these glass ornaments without breaking them, these neat Nativity ornaments come in their own box for safekeeping. An ornament set like this will typically cost about $35.
One last really cool nativity Christmas ornament is a cross ornament that has a Nativity scene with Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus inside of it. The angels celebrating above the Holy Family are just an added bonus. This $8 Christmas ornament is a cool way to display the Nativity on your Christmas tree.
If you are looking for a Nativity set that isn't like the average Nativity set, you may be surprised at some of the unique Nativity sets that are available for you to choose from.
One such unique Nativity display is actually a Santa Claus with a painted Nativity scene on it. This is a gorgeous and unique way to display the Nativity. This hand carved and hand painted wooden Santa is made with the best wood possible and has details so intricate, that your guests will be in awe over it. With a price tag of $250, they should be! The artists from G. DeBrekht Artistic Studios have done an amazing job on this figurine.
Another unique Nativity display is a Nativity serving tray. This serving tray is a cool way to decorate with the Nativity, or to serve food at Christmas time. The tray is ceramic and has a beautifully colored Nativity scene on the inside of the tray. It would make a lovely decoration just sitting on a counter or a coffee table, or you can use it for what it is actually for: serving food. Either way, at $25 you are sure to have a great, unique way to display the Nativity at Christmas.
Since Christmas and family go hand in hand, many families wish to have a nativity scene that depicts the holy family they can relate to with their own ethnicity and heritage. Bronner's offers a choice of nativities including various skin tones and artistic styles. Specialized Christmas sites like this have many choices for Nativity sets, Christmas decorations and just about anything Christmas related you could imagine, including an African American Nativity set.
This set features the Three Wise Men, the baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph. You also get an ox, a donkey and a sheep to complete your set, all for only $60. The set is made from ceramic and painted with care for a beautiful ethnic feel.
For many families, especially those of color, it is important to have figurines displayed at Christmas time that represent their culture and ethnic background. Having an African American Nativity set is a wonderful way to do just that!
If you are looking for a gorgeous Nativity set, you may want to consider a Nativity set made by Fontanini. Fontanini figurines, which are crafted in Italy, are made with a material that is guaranteed not to break or chip, so they last a lifetime.
Fontanini Nativity sets come individually boxed for each piece purchased. You will also get an Heirloom story card that tells the story about each person a figurine is made for. This is a neat way to refresh your memory about what role each person in the set played during Christ's birth.
For example, if you purchase one of the Three Wise Men, such as Balthazar, a story card will be included in the box telling you about Balthazar. He was one of the Wise Men who brought Myrrh to the baby Jesus and was Prince of Africa and King of Saba at the time of his journey to see the baby Jesus. The 5" Balthazar figurine for the Nativity set, which is the most popular, runs for $16.
If you purchase another of the Wise Men, Gaspar, you will find out on your story card that he was responsible for bringing Jesus the frankincense and was over 100 years old when he went to see the baby Jesus. This 5" figurine will cost $16.
A Fontanini Nativity set is a true family heirloom, an educational one at that. Having a Fontanini in your home or giving a Fontanini Nativity, as a gift at Christmas is a lovely gesture, because these figurines are truly gorgeous.
Many people display Nativity sets during the Christmas season as a representation the birth of Christ. But do you know where the actual idea of a Nativity set came from?
The original Nativity set was actually a live scene with people playing the parts of Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the Three Wise Men. Real animals were even used in the barn where the live scene was taking place thanks to Saint Joseph of Assisi. His idea soon spread to Germany in the 1600's. Most often these live Nativity displays occurred in front of a church or other houses of worship. As these live Nativity scenes grew in popularity, artists began carving what they saw in the display into wood, stone or ivory.
In 1741 when Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, came to be in the United States, the people that settled there from overseas, brought with them these carved nativity scenes. This is how people in the United States came to discover Nativity sets. For many people today, displaying a Nativity set is a sign of Christmas spirit.
You know from past experience that children and Christmas figurines don't mix. However, as you carefully arrange your fragile nativity set on the mantle, you can't help but notice how disappointed your children seem. When your littlest child whispers that she wants to see the baby Jesus, you realize that you need to shop for a durable Children's nativity set for her to enjoy. You are delighted when a quick search reveals several suitable models, including a delightful large nativity that uses children for all of the nativity characters.
Before you buy your children a nativity, you may want to consider a few important issues. To be sure you select the right set, you should:
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|