Christmas has a number of meanings to a variety of people, but there’s no denying that nativity sets symbolize the original spirit of the season. The holidays are about families coming together, generosity, and goodwill toward others. These ideas are at the heart of the season’s central message, the birth of Christ. It’s perhaps the most memorable part of Christianity, the vision of baby Jesus resting in his manger while Mary, Joseph, the three kings and others look on in awe. It’s a tranquil scene and one that families can set up in their own home, expressing their love for the holiday.
What kinds of nativity sets are ideal for displaying during the holidays?
The classic scene consists of baby Jesus in his manger with Mary and Joseph watching over him, but there are many other people and animals that can be added to produce a more vivid, complete display. Balthazar, Gaspar and Melchior, together known as the three kings, are part of most displays, because they represent a major part of the Christmas ideal. Specifically, with their gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense, the three kings symbolize the importance of giving during the holiday season.
Other figures include angels proclaiming the good news of Christ’s birth. As winged, robed figures, angels are an incredibly beautiful addition to any display. Of course, Christ was born in a stable, not a palace, so other people and animals were nearby during his birth. There are several figures that can be used to represent this. They include the merchants, the shepherds, and even a carpenter and potter. Many believe that animals could sense the birth of Jesus and its profound meaning, so many nativity sets feature them as well. The humble sheep, strong ox and stoic camel are the most common, but the donkey Mary rode on to the stable can’t be forgotten. Finally, many displays are finished with a Star of Bethlehem, shining above the display with its bright, hopeful light leading the way to the stable.
Nativity sets need a setting to be complete. The stable remains the most common choice, though there are many versions of it for families to choose from. Some come adorned with moss or straw and represent the humble place of Christ’s birth. Although not seen as often, another popular setting is the resurrection tomb, with the rock flung aside, heralding the resurrection of Jesus. Some settings are fitted with LED lights to help them shine even in the dark and to add a beautiful touch. These lights are extremely efficient, so they can be used for many years.
Because these treasured displays range in size from a few inches tall to life sized, they can be used indoors or out. Smaller displays are ideal for inside the home, while life size figures are perfect for outside applications. All figures are made with durable resins shaped like authentic wood carvings. High-quality nativity sets are designed well so they can remain on display for many holiday seasons to come, reminding onlookers of the true meaning of Christmas.