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unique nativity sets and nativity scene figures hand-painted on Colorado river rocks and stones

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Nativity Sets Teach the True Christmas Story


When preparing for the holiday season, it's easy to get carried away by festivities, gifts and delicious cuisine. With seasonal commercials running constantly, holiday party invitations stacking up and bustling town centers, Christmas time may even seem overwhelming for some. During this busy season, it is certainly easy to forget the true origins of the Christmas holiday.

Despite the hectic side of the holiday season, thinking of Christmas brings feelings of warmth and happiness to most. It is a time for traditions and for families to gather together. Christmas is also a sacred holiday with a story that holds great religious significance. Remembering this side of the holiday can be just as fun and fulfilling as gift giving and decorating.

One traditional way to honor the origins of Christmas is the display of the Nativity scene. A standard Nativity set includes the Holy Family with the infant Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Other nativity pieces such as shepherds, the Magi, angels and animals are also commonly included in Nativity sets. The Nativity scene, also called a Nativity creche, dates back to the time of St. Francis of Assisi.

Today you can find a great variety of Nativity sets appropriate for family homes, churches, institutions and commercial enterprises. Varying sizes accommodate both indoor and outdoor Christmas displays ranging from tabletop sets to life-size Nativity scenes. Giant nativity sets require more set-up time and effort; however these options are great for outdoor displays or for large indoor spaces such as cathedrals or other institutions.

Setting up the manger scene each year is a great way to teach children the story behind Christmas. Kids nativity sets made of felt can be played with at home or used as an interactive teaching device at Sunday school. Making the story come to life in a visual manner will add excitement and enthusiasm to the lesson. Nativity sets that come with many separate pieces can also be a family's collecting tradition with the addition of a new piece every Christmas season. Some smaller nativity sets have many figurines that will keep this tradition alive for years.

Collections such as the renowned Fontanini Masterpiece Nativity are also veritable pieces of art with their incomparable detail and coloring. For nighttime displays, you may want to consider illuminated nativity sets. You can also add to your Christmas light display with lighted silhouettes of the religious figurines found in sets such as Holiday Lighting's Estate Collection. Both of these unique choices will surely add to the holiday spirit in any neighborhood.

For the containment and protection of your nativity set, you may also consider adding a stable. Typically crafted of wood, nativity stables add authenticity to a nativity creche and can either be an esthetic addition or a functional shelter. Most outdoor sets are built with enough durability to endure cold temperatures and weather conditions; however, Nativity sets should be handled and stored with care.

When thinking about the upcoming holiday season, consider the addition of a nativity scene to your display so you can share the Christmas story with your family and community.

Rachel Messina is a writer and Internet Marketing Specialist with Mountain Media, an ecommerce solutions firm that works with clients such as, an online source for Nativity sets, Christmas light displays and Church Nativities.

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