Advice, ideas, inspiration: How to arrange your Christmas nativity scene?

Advice, ideas, inspiration: How to arrange your Christmas nativity scene?

At the entrance to the house, in the living room or the children’s bedroom… At the foot of the tree or near your prayer corner? Start by choosing a friendly place where visitors, young and old, can gather!

The choice of materials

Cave, stable, cabin… This can take various forms, it’s up to you to choose the one that best represents the Nativity of the child Jesus for you.

In the Gospel, Luke tells us that Jesus was born in the dead of night in the manger. from a stable in Bethlehem. In the 13th century, the very first living nativity scene was made a cave of Greccio in Italy by Francis of Assisi. Today many traders sell nativity caves in ceramic or resin.

You can also give free rein to your imagination: using old newspapers and a little glue, give your nativity scene the desired shape. You can then decorate it with paint, moss, branches and bark…

Below you will find some inspiring examples:

The choice of figurines

The first miniature nativity scene with figures was initiated by the Jesuits in Prague in the 16th century. In Europe, this practice is becoming popular especially in churches. But in France, after the Revolution, French Catholics had to renounce this tradition. In 1793, the Republic banned the celebration of midnight masses as well as nativity scenes in churches. In response to this ban, some households designed domestic nativity scenes and made small figurines representing the Nativity scene. This is how the santons of Provence, also called “little saints”, were created.

First made from bread crumbs then from clay, there are today a multitude of styles on the market. And if you don’t find one to your liking, you can always go back to the sources of their inventions and create your own characters!

A nursery for children

Children are very often tempted to play with the characters in the nursery, but these can be fragile and not suitable for young people. Here is a nursery idea that will make an impact! Toy brands offer several versions of the Christmas nativity scene. Depending on your wishes, you can offer a different one to each of your children, or opt for one and the same model that will delight the whole family.

You will also find a multitude of inspirations by visiting your religious bookstore or on their website. Christian publishers offer interactive books with detachable parts or in pop-up versions, specially designed for children. The best part: these are often accompanied by text, prayers, advice for parents, to transmit to children the meaning and symbol of the crèche.

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