Giving a Nativity Scene Set as a gift can be the beginning of a beautiful family tradition. When my first child was born, my mother-in-law gave her a tiny Nativity Set. It was a simple set of pretty but sturdy frosted glass figurines to be placed on a round mirror about the size of a luncheon plate. It was perfect for little hands, and the figurines were styled like children in a Nativity pageant.
My mother-in-law explained that she would give each of her grandchildren a Nativity Set as a gift when they were born. My daughter was the first of the twelve grandchildren on that side of our family. I thought it was such a wonderful idea, and a special gesture of faith and love.
A Tradition in Time
When my second child was born, she received a colorful, engaging children's Nativity Set from her Grandma. It included a stable, palm tree, fence pieces, and all of the characters in the sacred story. It even had a light-up angel on top, and played Silent Night when you pressed her head! It was a hit with everyone, even the adults.
When my third child was born, he received a wooden set, brightly colored and designed to appeal to kids, with sleek, shaped, painted pieces that all fit together snugly in a wooden box when you arranged them properly. The box was shaped like the stable. It became the crèche once you unpacked the pieces.
Far from being just "childhood gifts," these became special treasures that each child would set up in their own space, either their bedroom, or a space they chose in the house, every Advent. They are still special treasures today, despite being children's toys.
When we bring them out of the attic with the other decorations each year, they evoke sweet memories of my mother-in-law, family Christmases, and of course, those long-gone childhood days. The days when the kids were excited to select just the right spot in which to set up their Nativities, then decorate their spaces, all on their own.
My teenager sets up the childhood Nativity Scene his grandmother gave him when he was born.
The Gift of a Nativity Scene
A Nativity makes a beautiful and faithful wedding gift or baby gift. You can give it as a complete set, or begin building it together with each special milestone. If you choose carefully and share information about your purchase, the individual or family can build the Nativity along with you. Then one day it will become a family heirloom.
It does not have to be costly to become a priceless family treasure. It's more about the memories made along the way. Give an inexpensive or costly one, as long as it is given with love for the recipient and for the Newborn King. When you do, you acknowledge Christmas as the incredible gift of the God Who came to dwell among us, to save us from our sins. There is no greater gift, so the cost of your set is not important.
Consider starting a new family tradition this year by giving someone the gift of a Nativity. It will be one of the most memorable gifts your loved one will ever receive - one they can use throughout their lifetime. There is something incredibly beautiful to be found in the gift of a tiny re-creation of that Holy Night.
Traditional or contemporary style, young or old recipient, large space or small one, whether your budget is a little or a lot, there's something out there for everyone. Today there are so many different designs, materials, and price points from which to choose.
Recommendations from The Catholic Company
Here are a few of my favorite Nativities from our incredible inventory at The Catholic Company. This selection contains different styles for every age group, different sized pieces, materials, styles, and price ranges to be enjoyed by all. We have a beautiful selection of Nativity scenes that give glory to the Newborn King, because that's our mission and purpose.
Though there's something for everyone here, some sets may contain small pieces or be delicate enough that they are not suitable for children to play with as toys:
Personalized Christmas Star Nativity
Have this beautiful silver box personalized for your child. It holds the pieces to a tiny Nativity that will become a precious heirloom.
Saintly Heart Nativity Playset
This bright and engaging Nativity for children is sized for small hands and made for play. It comes ready to "build," so your child can punch the pieces out of craft wood with your help, then place them on their own stands, and arrange the figurines for play or display. Enjoy precious time together while your child enjoys independent playtime all season long.
Pageant Nativity Set
A vibrant and colorful scene with engaging, childlike figurines, this one features children dressed in character to perform in a Nativity Pageant. Gold accents add to the festive tone. A charming Nativity that will inspire delight and joy for years to come.
Nativity Scene Block Set
For a more formal yet more modern look, a set that features soft hues and subtle, lightly drawn figures decoupaged onto wooden blocks. Sturdy, contemporary, and still appropriate for children to handle.
Nativity with Angel Figurine
For those in apartments, dorms, assisted living facilities, or other small spaces, this is a one-piece Nativity with rich colors and clean lines. It features the Holy Family sheltered beneath the wings of an Angel of the Lord. With the town of Bethlehem in the background, it captures an intimate moment on that holiest of nights.
Stained Glass Nativity Ornaments - Set of 6
We make this striking set of six stained glass ornaments ourselves at The Catholic Company. Trim the tree with these stained glass window rounds featuring vibrant images of the birth and adoration of the Newborn King. Hanging from red satin ribbon, they look particularly striking when placed in front of a Christmas tree light.
Every year when your loved one decorates the tree, these will be a reminder of God's love and yours.
Traditional German Nativity Candleholder in Blue
An extraordinary Nativity Scene made by master-craftsmen in Germany is quite unlike most of the other Nativities we sell. This German Christmas pyramid holds four taper candles. Heat from the candles turns the paddles above, rotating all of the figurines in the handcrafted and hand painted Nativity around the base in a charming motion.
Traditional, magical, and incredibly beautiful, it will become a favorite memory and family heirloom. While this one is the largest, we sell several versions.
Mango Wood Look Nativity Set - 6 Pieces
Kids aren't the only ones for whom a Nativity is a meaningful gift. Don't know someone's style or colors? This gorgeous set is resin, made to look like mango wood. Neutral in tone and finely detailed, it will look lovely in any space, especially when accented by candles and greenery.
Large Olive Wood Log Grotto
For those with small spaces, and those who want to display something incredibly symbolic and meaningful, a small, one-piece Nativity made of warm, rich, olivewood. Carved within olive branches from Bethlehem, these are intricately handcrafted by Christians in the Holy Land.
Sadly, only 2% of the Holy Land remains Christian today. This Nativity unites you with persecuted Christians living in the land where Jesus was born, ministered, and died for us, and it allows them to support their families.
Woven Gold-Trimmed Fabric Look Nativity - 7 Pieces
Traditional ivory suits any style and color palette at Christmas. A lace or woven pattern and blush gold accents add movement and distinction. This set can take on a formal look when surrounded by greenery and candles or placed on beautiful cloth, or a less formal presentation when arranged without accents.
Real Life Nativity Set - 7" Scale
One of our most popular sets, the Real Life Nativity, can be purchased in small subsets of animals, Angels, and other accent pieces, then built out over time. This is the complete set, but you can start with separate pieces, giving them one by one at special occasions and milestones.
Colorful & Classic Nativity Set - 7 Pieces
This is a traditional set featuring classic and graceful lines. Richly colored and vibrantly textured, it reflects fine details, serenity, and reverence. It contains the Holy Family, Three Kings, and a Nativity Crèche backdrop. Perfect for small spaces, and lovely enough to ornament with greenery, candles, or other accents for a larger space or centerpiece.
Fontanini Holy Family 3-Piece Nativity Set - 5" Scale
For a true heirloom quality gift, purchase a gorgeous Italian Nativity in pieces or as a set. The House of Fontanini, a family business in Tuscany, Italy, has been making these for 111 years. Their name is synonymous with fine Italian craftsmanship. Renowned for their quality and durability, Fontanini figurines coordinate with any style of décor.
They release special pieces each year to add to their collection. I just began buying these pieces for one of my godchildren last year. Build this set over a lifetime of gift-giving milestones. There are hundreds of figurines to choose from, in various sizes, and with many different crèches and backdrops.
The Gift of Christmas Memories
Begin a special family tradition that reminds your loved ones of the wonder, glory, and promise of Christmas. A Nativity Scene Set will bring that joy to life for them every year. Even when you can no longer be together, your gift will invite the precious memories that make Christmas a time to cherish.
A Nativity is so much more than a material gift. It's a reminder of His Incarnation and His promises to us. Those are priceless, regardless of your budget. The real gift is Emmanuel, God With Us. When you give a re-creation of that holy night, you give a gift of faith and love.
May the Infant King of Glory bless you and yours, today and always, and may your heart be filled with expectant hope and quiet joy as you await His coming.