The use of Nativity sets originated in the 13th century when St. Francis of Assisi celebrated midnight mass in a stable, reenacting the Christmas story for all who came to celebrate. The beautiful tradition of outdoor Nativity sets continues today, and the usage of indoor Nativity sets is also overwhelmingly popular. A Christmas Nativity scene (also called a crèche) varies in its makeup, but the most traditional Nativity sets include Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, shepherds, angels, animals, and the three wise men. Other Nativity figurines and accessories, such as Christmas or Nativity stars and the drummer boy figurine, complement and liven a Christmas Nativity set or scene. These add-ons serve as a tool for personalization and expression. After all, each of us has favorite elements of the Christmas story. Churches, communities, neighborhoods, and individual homes all proudly display Christmas Nativity sets both indoors and outdoors during the holiday season. It is one of the most faithful and enduring traditions because it tells the story of our Savior’s humble but ever-important birth. Christmas Nativity sets are not only meaningful, they are also a beautiful addition to holiday décor – they will bring texture, color, and detail into your home or yard. Indeed, they are usually used as the centerpiece in any Christmas space, often placed on a mantle, in the center of a yard, or near the fireplace. Nativity sets can be a source of awe and inspiration and usually end up being a conversation piece. Whether you are looking for an indoor or outdoor Nativity set – or even individual Nativity figurines – St. Patrick’s Guild is pleased to carry several options for any space or taste.
You may choose to buy a large and complete outdoor Nativity set. Some of these are more traditional in style, while others are whimsical. You can choose elements of an outdoor Nativity that light up for an extra bold statement, or you could choose something more basic but complement with your own lighting for nighttime use. Some outdoor scenes can be five feet tall to give a very realistic feeling. This size is common in the yards of churches, but many families choose these for their homes rather than (or in addition to) the life-size Santa Clauses, reindeers, and Christmas trees that you often see.
Perhaps you would prefer something smaller for indoors that you can build piece by piece, adding an individual Nativity figurine each year as part of your family’s Christmas tradition. Many people and families initially purchase only the Nativity set stable along with the Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus Nativity figurines, and then add the other Nativity figurines as the years go by. Christmas Nativity sets also make a wonderful gift for faithful family and friends who want to ensure the Christmas story remains at the center of the holiday season. For example, some people receive the starting pieces of a Nativity set or crèche at their wedding or during their child’s first holiday season and each subsequent Christmas is celebrated with an additional piece. Dozens of pieces and figurines exist, so this tradition will never become outdated. Complete Nativity scenes are also available – and you get to define what makes “complete.” Some have just three figures, while fully adorned Nativity sets could have almost 30! Some of our small or medium-sized complete sets cost as little as $30. But we also carry more collectible, artistic, and high-end sets. Our goal is to offer a variety of scenes and figurines that suit any budget.
Children’s Nativity sets are a very popular choice. Some are soft and all of them are durable for the sometimes less-than-gentle handling they may receive. Other children’s sets offer a bit of fun – like the Nativity scene built into a puzzle - to help engage your child with the Christmas story. St. Patrick’s Guild even carries a magnetic Nativity scene so you can transform your refrigerator into a holiday-themed play area (that also teaches some important religious lessons)!
Many traditional Nativity sets are available, but we also ensure our stock is diverse. Celtic Christmas Nativity sets, contemporary Willow Tree Nativity figurines, and a clear acrylic Nativity set are just a few of the more interesting options available. From the ornate Nativity set for the seasoned holiday decorator to simple, creamy porcelain for the understated family – we have it all! We also carry the ever-popular and collectible Nativity sets and figurines from Fontanini. Many people also love the artistic quality and personal craftsmanship of Demetz pieces.
Each time one sets up or gazes at a Nativity set, it is a reminder of the baby Jesus of Bethlehem. We hope you enjoy our selection of Nativity scenes and that they become part of your future holy Christmas seasons and traditions.