During the Christmas season, those who wish to celebrate the miracle of Jesus Christ’s birth often choose to do so with a gorgeous and meaningful outdoor nativity set for all to see. Also known as a crèche scene, the Nativity is a visual representation of Baby Jesus’ birth made of a variety of materials such as wood, fiberglass, stone, and resin. When homeowners are looking for the perfect crèche for their front yard, what are some important aspects to consider?
Size & Placement
First think of where exactly the outdoor nativity will be displayed. Is the set for a home or church? Should the set be visible from the street? How much room is available in the desired location? Determining these important factors will help in choosing the perfect sized set for each homeowner’s needs. For those with large yards, full manger scenes complete with Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the angels, and animals are options. Whereas townhomes or apartments may have limited space available, making smaller sets that only showcase Christ, Mary, and Joseph more ideal.
Once the space has been selected, it comes time to decide on the style of outdoor nativity that’s best for the space. Crèche sets come in two dimensional and three dimensional varieties. Two dimensional sets are typically made of either wood, metal, or plastic and are completely flat. They can be painted intricately to reflect the characters in the scene, but are usually only visually pleasing from one angle. Three dimensional sets are more realistic and resemble statues and can be admired from all angles. Made of resin, stone, or fiberglass, they are more reflective of the traditional living nativities that inspire today’s decorations.
After the perfect set has been chosen, lighting it properly will help bring it to life. Some sets come pre-lit, with bulbs placed inside the statues. Others will require separate lighting. Great options for lighting an outdoor nativity that does not come pre-lit are flood lights. Flood lights come in many colors and can be placed in the ground in front of the statues using stakes. Automatic timers can be placed to help save electricity and protect against fire hazards.
Where and How to Store
After the Christmas season is over, storing the crèche correctly will be essential to homeowners getting the most out of their investment. As with any Christmas decor, nativities should be kept in cool, dry storage areas to prevent damage. If small enough to be contained, statues should be placed in sealed bags or containers to keep pests and the elements away. If the statues are too large to be contained in a box or bag, place the statues in a safe place that is free from water, heat, pests, and dirt.
Choosing to display and outdoor nativity set is a spiritual and celebratory decision. When investing in a set that will be showcased for many years to come, it’s important that the homeowner be happy with their choice and equally important that they know how to care for the set properly so it will last.