Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nativity scenes

Last year Blake "strongly encouraged" me to give away some of our Christmas decorations. We had 11 Rubbermaid containers of decor and now we have 8, still alot I know but this year I only put out my favorite things and the result is stunning, if I say so myself :) It is not overdone, but shows the Christmas spirit in each room. My favorite decoration to put out of my parents' home as a child was the family Nativity set and things have not changed. I still love my Nativities best, and have always collected Nativity scenes especially when I travel. Here are some of my favorites.

This nacimientito (in Spanish, a tiny nativity) is actually 3 ornaments, but they look so precious in the village of houses and town with the other people and buildings.

I bought this at a craft fair in Memphis years ago during the hot months of summer. The star just had to be glued again last week. It is so hard to pack each year!

My mother made these angels when I was a little girl. The nativity is a miniature Fontinani (spelling?) that she had brought me back from Rome and was blessed at John Paul II's mass.

This is one of my absolute favorites ever. I bought this Nativity in Guatemala for about 8 dollars, and I am sick I didn't buy more for gifts but I was almost out of money at that point at the end of my trip. Each figure is clothed in traditional clothing of the local Guatemalans.

Another true favorite, my dear sister bought this one for me in Mexico when we took a cruise on my 3oth birthday. I love the dotted halos Mary and Joseph are wearing as well as the tiny, adorable sheep. The picture of Jesus was drawn by my sweet neice Maddie when she spend the night over the Christmas break years ago.

This is my first "expensive" Nativity. A real Fontanini that I bought pieces at a time when I first moved out after college. I still have more pieces I want and will continue to add a bit at a time.

This nativity is the Willow Tree nativity that I have had for years. 4 Christmases ago when I lived alone and had just bought my house a year before, I had this nativity in the same spot but the mantle was not secured to the wall. In the middle of the night I heard the loudest crash and my dog was at my bedroom door hair raised barking like mad. I called Blake who lived about 30 minutes away and was scared to death, I just knew that I was about to be raped and pillaged by some crazed burglar. After much coaxing and courage, I came out to find my mantle in the tree, ornaments all around, sheep with 3 legs, shepherds without hand and staff, Wisemen minus their gifts, you name it! I still don't know how this happened but assume my cat, Fredbaby, had jumped and trampled them all together. I had a time with the super glue the next day. I still pull out the sheep every year and laugh remembering my near brush with death, or so I thought!

In Lourdes I was looking for a Nativity right after another pilgrim on our tour had our daughter, Mary Sofia speak to me through her. I only found one I liked there and gave it to my mother.
Does anyone have any Nativity sets they love and enjoy putting out every year? Do any of you have the willow tree set of a different Fontinani?


  1. I love the Willow Tree set! Your house looks lovely. I have a Llardro Holy Family & angel that my mom bought me years ago. I have no idea why my grandkids and/or greyhounds haven't broken them yet :-)

  2. I so enjoyed this post and your photos - what a great idea! The only nativity set I have is the one from when I was a child, and it is basically an inexpensive one. I love the idea of having such varied scenes and memories of travel, stories, family and friends.

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. I love all the different nativities you have. Mine is sentimental, but way too big. The figurines are about a foot tall and there are many pieces (My barbies used to "ride" the camel when I was little). My family received from a parish school when the school decided to buy a new one. That was before I was born and my Mom passed it on to me. Jesus has a missing arm, there are chips and nicks, etc., but I love it. DH is trying to find someone to repair it. I would still like a smaller one, but haven't found one yet.

  4. I love all the different nativities you have! I don't have one of my own yet. I am really thinking about looking into the willow tree one. I love willow tree and want to start collecting. Your deco looks great!

  5. I hae a Willow Tree set!!!! My parents gave it to me a few years ago and I LOVE it! I don't know what that fontaninialali :) word is... Your nativity scenes are beautiful!

  6. I want the Willow Tree set! All of your sets are so beautiful! :)

  7. love, love, love your nacimientos!!! I also collect them!! =)

    I have some 10, yet no willow tree!! =(

    I have from Finland (wood minimalist style), from Argentina (in gaucho style), from Peru in Inca clothing and many Mexican made by the indians. I love, love them and I am almost addicted!

    I have seen your Mexican one many times here, its almost surely from Tlaquepaque, a town near Guadalajara with great artisans. The halos are very distinctive.

  8. I've been on the hunt for a Nativity scene that I like, but no luck. My bf gave me statues of the people in the scene but Mary is holding Jesus! I don't like that at all.

    Maybe I'll luck out this year and find one!

  9. Oh, these are so beautiful!! I wish my home was as lovely as yours, with so much spirit!

  10. I love your decorating, and love all of the Nativity scenes! I actually posted mine the other day, too!

    I love your Mexican scenes, in particular. What a beautiful example of the different cultures in our faith!