Thursday, December 30, 2010

"N" for Nativity

     When my girls were babies, my Grandmother sent me a small amount of cash to buy each of my girls a Christmas gift. They had plenty of toys, books and clothes so I decided to buy them some type of keepsake. After looking at what collectibles were available for very little money, I decided to start each of them a Fontanini Nativity Set. That first year I bought each of them Mary, Joseph and Jesus and the following year I bought them each the manager.

Each year I bought a new piece to add to their Nativity. 

My grandmother passed away about six years after I started the set but I continued to add new pieces each year. Animals and Angels, Shepherds and Wisemen all joined the scene.

Children playing instruments....

And women bearing gifts for the newborn babe.

The Nativity grew and grew and today they each have well over forty pieces. 
The Baby Jesus never appears in the manger until Christmas Morning and the Wisemen are set aside and slowly make their way, finally ending up in front of the Manger on January 6th, the Epiphany. Because every piece is unbreakable,  my girls have always been allowed to "play" with their set, reenacting the Holy Birth and talking about the real importance of Christmas. 
     I also have another Nativity. When my Grandmother passed away the only thing I wanted was the Nativity set that belonged to my Grandparents. I never actually thought I would get it because there were other children and grandchildren whom I thought would surely end up with it. But I did end up with it. I have no clue how old it is but my Grandparents always displayed this as far back as I can remember, so I know it was manufactured in the early sixties at the very least. 

The Baby Jesus has suffered serious abuse and is unrecognizable, it looks as if a dog chewed on it but my Grandparents never owned a pet. 

I also thought there were more pieces, Angels etc. but I don't know whatever happened to them. I would like to see if I can find more pieces on ebay to add to my set because eventually, my girls will leave home and take their Nativities with them. 
I'm linking this post to Alphabe Thursday for the Letter N at Jenny Matlocks.


  1. Good Morning Sweetie...
    What a beautiful share today. I absolutely love, Love, LOVE the idea that you started a nativity set for each of the girls and that you have continued to build each one for them. What a treasure for their families one day.

    And the fact that you got the set that belonged to your grandparents is SO wonderful. I too would treasure a gift as such. Isn't it funny how the Baby Jesus was the most played with and loved. It doesn't matter that he isn't recognizable, he is carried in each heart that picks that Baby Jesus up. How wonderful. I love it. Yes, I too would continue to look for pieces to add to it. That would be lovely. I know that your Grandparents smile down happily as this piece still continues to come out at the holidays. They knew what they were doing when the set was passes on to you sweet one. Believe me, they had something to do with it.

    Many hugs sweet one and Happy New Year to you and you family. Love, Sherry

  2. Beautiful collection Nan. I think I would like to do this for my grandchildren..hmmmmaybe on a smaller scale..11

    What is the name of your set..maybe we could help you look.
    Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

  3. Beautiful ! we also have a very big one it makes a whole village when everythng is put together it is also very old 65 years and was handmade ! It belongs to Mr. G. who had got it as a child in Italy.

  4. I absolutely love these nativities and the way they grew.

    I also love the one you inherited and hope you will be able to find more pieces. Ebay is a good place to do that, for sure.

    Good luck!


  5. What a beautiful thing to have done with your Grandmother's gift of money, Nan...such a lovely tradition! I may have to use this idea--wish I'd thought of doing something like this for my girls years ago!

    Wishing you and your family a most beautiful New Years!


  6. This is wonderful idea. Your children's sets are so pretty. Our baby Jesus arrives Christmas morning too.

  7. great showcase on how to spend wise and spend smart...

    have a lovely new year.

  8. That is such a lovely tradition and will be treasured heirlooms for your children. Just beautiful. Have a Happy and Healthy New Year friend.

  9. What a wonderful and thoughtful idea you had so many years ago. Nan I just think you are wonderful and a great example for you girls on how to live their lives, very sentimental for sure, me too. lol. Happy new and thanks for sharing all your wonderful post this month of December! Hugs, Marilou

  10. What a very special treasure you have gathered together for your children to take with them when they leave your nest. You've taught them the true meaning of Christmas and, perhaps, they will start this special traditiion with their own children or you will begin it when you are a grandmother. I think it is so beautiful

  11. Nan,
    What a wonderful post!!!!! I saw you had come over to ask about being in the Valentine swap....let's make it an even 14 since it is February 14th that is Valentines Day! I will look forward to swapping with you my friend! I hope you find the figures you need in 2011 on Ebay and is a good feeling to find items you feel you are missing! So please put it down, we are swapping too! :) Love, Sandy

  12. Gorgeous nativity, and great photos..

    Happy New Year!

  13. I love the story of how the collection started and you also started a great tradition. One of the things I love about Christmas are the traditions that thru the years we as a family have come up with.

    Good luck on finding the missing pieces to your beautiful nativity scene as well.

    Happy New Year!

  14. Nan, I think I told you that I have those same pieces from Italy. Your grandmother's nativity is just lovely, a real keepsake!

  15. What a lovely tradition!
    I hope you are able to find more pieces for your grandparents' nativity - those things are precious!

  16. Happy New Year Dear girlfriend~ Cheers to a Very Happy 2011 Hugs, Diane

  17. Hi Nan!
    Just running in to wish you a wonderful 2011, filled with much happiness!

    Sally xo

  18. What a wonderful post! I hope you are able to find more pieces for the nativities.

    So many memories wrapped inside those lovely pieces.

    Thanks for sharing this lovely and sentimental post for years end.

    Wishing you a 2011 filled with joy, grace, discovery and adventure.

    Thank you for linking.

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