There are so many parts of the Christmas season that I love and look forward to… the cards in the mail, my silver christmas tree, school vacation… the list goes on and on. One of my most favorite things is my small (but growing) collection of nativity scenes.
My grandmother, BJR, collected nativities from around the world and they were a frequent gift from friends who knew her well. I would estimate that she had at least 30 different sets – from hand carved, to crystal, from every corner of the earth. She had most of them out year round in different hutches and cabinets but a few only came out at Christmas.
When she passed away, my grandfather, CFR, invited me over one day to pick a few that could come to my house. I have one that stays out year round in my kitchen. Its from Mexico and is all carved from one piece of wood that was painted in the best colors. It’s only about 4 inches by four inches and it sits on a shelf in the kitchen.
Although I don’t display them in the most traditional sense, I love each of these for different reasons.
(Impatience to photograph & blog these = grainy pictures)
Nestled in a forrest of red and green Christmas trees, this set looks hand made. It’s not perfect and the facial features are painted on. I think these Wise Men are my favorite.
The detail on the clothing of this set is beautiful. It’s gold and ivory and I like to imagine the artisan who painted these had a very distinct image of what each person’s robes should look like. (Yes, I know it was probably assembly line style…)
Around the base of the trees and around the scene are red bead garland, red stars, red and lime beaded balls, and red ornaments. This year I added a tiny strand of self timing battery operated LED lights that have the warmest glow when the dining room is dark.
This set is on the dresser in my entry. It also sits under a tree… but this tree is from my other grandmother, MER. It’s another of my favorite Christmas-y things to get out every year!
I love the retro tree with the rustic nativity scene.
These animals are hands down my favorite. They are all so sweet looking!
All three of the nativity scenes I brought into my home are so very different. I appreciate that the story can be told and interpreted so differently but still maintain its meaning.
This simple, beautiful set is my hands down favorite. Just three pieces – the three most important. This set is on my coffee table … and I’m noticing a trend – it’s also with a tree!
I love the regal, important posture of the grouping and how Mary and Joseph are bent towards their son. I think that most new parents feel that way about their brand new baby… and how could they have been any different in that sense?
I hope to add to my collection over the years – but none will ever be quite as special as these three sets. Christmas is such a great time to build and cherish memories – and these nativity scenes evoke such wonderful memories of my grandmother for me. How could they not be one of my favorite Christmas things?