Setting Your Scene
Christmas Nativity Sets.
Christmas Nativity scene sets are an important part of Christmas decorations. They tell the story of a baby named Jesus, and his miraculous birth. Setting up the Nativity set is often a cherished event in many homes. There are many ways that the Christmas Nativity scene can be set up. The choice is completely up to you and your traditions. Throughout the world there are different customs and traditions when setting up the Nativity scene. Here are a few customs that vary throughout the world.
Setting Your Scene.
There are a few main pieces that are needed when setting up your Nativity set. The manger and crib, along with baby Jesus are at the center of the Nativity scene. Jesus should always be the center of your scene because he is the whole reason for the Nativity. Then Mary and Joseph should be placed on either side of Jesus. Some put Mary next to Jesus with Joseph set away from the crib looking away from Jesus. There is an old man next to him, meant to represent Satan. The reasoning for this set up is to symbolize doubt in human faith. This is not common practice, but has been portrayed in some Nativity sets. Usually an ox or sheep are placed in the manger as well since they were the only other ones present at the time of Jesus' birth. Now, some people do not place Jesus in the manger until Christmas Eve or Christmas day. This decision is completely up to you.
Additional Nativity Figures.
As for any other Nativity figurines, the shepherds and wise men are usually included. To place the importance of the figures, many people use circles. So Mary, Joseph and Jesus are in the first circle. The shepherds and the kings usually go on the next circle. If you have both shepherds and kings, placing the shepherds closer to Jesus is a more accurate account of Biblical times because the shepherds came before the wise men. One interesting idea I came across was to move the kings slowly across your yard, in an outdoor Nativity set. This shows how the kings slowly made their journey to see the newborn King. Also, not placing the wise men in the scene until January 6th is another tradition that is popular in many Latin communities.
Angels and Nativity Accessories.
One other popular figure is an angel. Placing the angel above the Nativity set is ideal, but if this is not possible, place the angel behind the Holy Family. Placing the angel above the Nativity set signifies the angel looking down from Heaven. With some outdoor Nativities, placing the angel above the manger just is not possible, so behind the scene is good because it shows the angel still looking down on the Holy Family. These are the most popular figures for the Nativity set. How you place them is completely up to you.
Some people collect Nativity figurines, so they can add a new person each year. Fontanini has a wide variety of characters to add to your Nativity scene. They also have special limited editions every year. These Nativity scenes can be collected over the years and then passed down throughout your family.