Nativity Scenes Buying Guide
Nativity scenes are a familiar Christmas decoration. Some families pass theirs from generation to generation, while others seek out a version that suits their personal holiday style. Most nativity scenes have several key pieces, including Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus, and the Angel; sets can be enlarged, too, with additional people and animals.
Types of Nativity Scenes
Inspired by the live nativity scenes churches often hold at Christmastime, nativity scenes for the home can be found in a variety of types, making them a good complement to a range of holiday decorating styles. Based on where you will use yours and how much room you have, there are different types to consider, including wood, porcelain, glass, metal, and other materials, as well as artistic style and indoor versus outdoor use.
Many home nativity scenes are carved out of wood. Review the type of wood to ensure it is long-lasting and to find out what kind of care it needs.
Porcelain or glass is also often used to create nativity scenes. Because of the material and fabrication style, these nativity scenes may break more easily.
While less common than wood or porcelain, metal -- commonly pewter -- is another material used to create nativity scenes.
More rare than wood, porcelain, or metal, unusual materials including wax, fabric, terra-cotta, or even woven straw are sometimes used to craft nativity scenes.
Nativity scenes vary in type based on artistic style. Some are fairly realistic, while others are inspired by folk art. Abstract varieties can also be found.
The original material used to create the nativity scene can be left unfinished. Or paint or glaze can be applied -- sometimes in very fine detail -- to add color and texture to figurines.
Germany, Italy, and Spain are just a few of the countries that have specific styles or craftspeople recognized for their nativity scene creations.
While most nativity scenes are used indoors, others are designed for display outside. Make sure to review how the materials will stand up to temperatures and precipitation.
Even after you've settled on the type of nativity scene that would best complement your holiday decorating, there are purchase considerations to review. Some nativity scenes come in sets of varying sizes, while others allow you to add individual pieces as budget allows. Many include a manger, pyramid, or base as a backdrop for the nativity scene. The size of the pieces should also be a consideration before buying a nativity scene.
Some nativity scenes are sold as sets, which typically include at least Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus; others have shepherds, the Magi, and an angel. If you would like to add to your set over time, make sure you can purchase pieces from year to year.
Whether sold as part of a set or individually, a manger, pyramid, or base provides a good backdrop and focal point for a nativity scene.
Nativity scenes vary in size from several inches to several feet high. Plan where you will place and store yours before deciding on size.
Filled with love, Mary and Joseph gaze upon the baby Jesus. Each sculpture is a masterwork of composition and intricate detail. Th...e rich contrast between the soft bisque and richly glazed porcelain and the masterful hand painting make each sculpture a gift to be treasured always. Crafted of hand-painted porcelain accented with 24 karat gold. Crèche sold separately. Height: 8-5/8". read more
By artist Jim Shore, this beautiful figurine makes a perfect holiday gift or seasonal table decor item. Highly detailed figurine f...eatures colorful quilt patterns and a handcrafted look. Metal Wire, Stone Resin. Unique variations should be expected; hand painted. Size: 10.5 inch H x 5.5 inch W x 6.25 inch L. read more
at Balsam Hill
Everyone will be thrilled to come home for the holidays this season with our sensational Heritage Spice Christmas wreath and garla...nd. The exquisite foliage modeled after our Sugarlands Spruce evokes warm nostalgia, as the wreath and garland are lovingly laden with natural embellishments. . Everyone will be thrilled to come home for the holidays this season with our sensational Heritage Spice Christmas wreath and garland. The exquisite foliage modeled after our Sugarlands Spruce evokes warm nostalgia, as the wreath and garland are lovingly laden with natural embellishments, such as pine cones, apples, berries, pomegranates, and cinnamon sticks. Made with our exclusive True Needle? technology, our Heritage Spice wreath and garland feature a stunningly full-bodied appearance. Whether upon a doorway, atop the mantel, or along the banister, these highly realistic artificial decorative pieces will bestow that sweet Christmas magic you have always cherished. read more
at Ralph Lauren
Festive, elegant and fragrant, our Holiday Classic Candle is scented with a blend of evergreen, red currant and juniper berry. Enc...losed in a reusable, ruby red glass holder. Exquisitely presented in a tartan plaid gift box with gold lettering. Single-wick candle is crafted from premium vegetable wax. Wick is lead-free. 4" tall. Candle: made in the USA. Vessel: imported. read more
at Ralph Lauren
Festive, elegant and fragrant, our holiday candle is scented with a blend of evergreen, red currant and juniper berry. Enclosed in... a ruby red reusable glass holder. Exquisitely presented in a beautiful tartan plaid gift box with gold lettering. Three-wick candle is crafted from premium vegetable wax. Wick is lead-free. 3½" tall. 5½" diameter. Candle: made in the USA. Vessel: imported. read more
at Balsam Hill
We proudly designed the Allegheny Evergreen in response to customer requests for a lifelike artificial Christmas tree with signatu...re Balsam Hill? quality but uniquely made for the outdoors. . We proudly designed the Allegheny Evergreen in response to customer requests for a lifelike artificial Christmas tree with signature Balsam Hill? quality but uniquely made for the outdoors. The Allegheny Evergreen not only features details that make it a perfect addition to your yard or deck, but it is also great for your living room! From tip to stand, we've specially designed this tree to handle the demands of Mother Nature. Inspired by one of our designers who spent winters in the Allegheny Mountains, we built this tree to last in all of winter's elements. For starters, the branches of the Allegheny Evergreen are fabricated from heavy gauge wire designed to withstand wind and snow, and the needles are UV-coated to resist the fading effects of the sun. In addition, we feature long-lasting LED C-5 lights to give that added resilience and require virtually no maintenance. The stand is also unique, featuring plates through which you can drive the included stakes to secure the Allegheny Evergreen to your yard or use screws or nails to secure it to your wooden deck. Plus, to provide that added layer of security, we also supply guide wires and stakes to support your tree in the wind. At Balsam Hill, we believe in going that extra mile to make sure your artificial Christmas tree is not only satisfactory, but extraordinary. But lest you think this is only good for the outdoors, be aware that this tree will work just as well indoors (please note that it does not have scratch-proof rubber feet like our other trees, so if you use it on a hardwood floor, be sure to put down a towel or cloth). Especially if you are looking for a tree with larger lights or LEDs, the Allegheny Evergreen will serve you well! read more
at Grandin Road
Get a smokeless, festive light with our Christmas Red Battery-operated Candle. Crafted from natural wax with lifelike, flickering ...LEDs that create a romantic red glow. No heat, smoke, or flame Light quality strikingly similar to a wax candle Easy on/off Automatic 5-hour timer function Each operates on two AA batteries (not included) read more
at Grandin Road
Our Animated Advent House brings Santas workshop to life. Open the numbered door to any of the tiny gift compartments and one of 2...5 classic Christmas carols begins to play, the workshop scene lights up, and Santa and his elves are set in motion. This highly detailed piece is fun for kids of all ages. Our gable-roofed advent house is the merriest way to celebrate every day of December leading up to Christmas Add your own miniature gifts to the tiny gift compartments in Santas Workshop Interactive features activated by opening any of the hinged doors Scenes light up and songs play with battery-operated LEDs Requires three AA batteries (not included) read more
Standing over a foot tall, our limited-edition Musical Nutcracker from Mark Roberts rotates above a base decorated with a colorful... North Pole scene. Made of wood, the joyful design features Mark Roberts? high level of detail, from the faux fur on the Nutcracker?s classic uniform to the handpainted details on the Santa, snowman, trees and ?Merry Christmas? sign below. Could stand on his own as a mantel or tabletop centerpiece Plays the song "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" Arrives elegantly gift boxed Includes a registration card read more
Santa is ready for movie night with popcorn and movies in hand. Created by Karen Didion, his hand-painted face is full of characte...r and charm, with glass inset eyes, wire-rim glasses, and wooly mohair beard. Designed by American artist Karen Didion Quilted coat and hat trimmed with faux fur Outfit completed with a sweater and houndtooth check pants that are made of high-quality fabrics and trims Holds two holiday classics: Its a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street read more