Monday, December 20, 2010

Nativity Scenes from Around the World

Yesterday I showed you the Nigerian nativity scene that my parents have on their mantel (which you can read about here).  When we lived in Nigeria many years ago, we went to Europe for our vacations which is when my parents purchased most of these creches.  I took lots of photos of them when I was at my parent's condo recently to show you.    

Let's start with the nativity scene bought in Oberammergau Germany.  It's one of my favourites for the simple figures in the little rustic cabin and the evergreen tree standing outside. 

The cloth that is under the German nativity scene is from Spain.  It was bought on our travels around Europe when I was a child and is always put over the trunk at Christmas time.

My parents also brought a nativity scene back from Interlaken Switzerland.  It must have been made by a Swiss Italian as the carving and painting look so Italian - lovely and rich with detail and tiny gold highlights.

My parents also brought three kings home from Denmark.  The one poor chap does rather look like he's bringing Jesus a toilet plunger - at least he was being practically minded when he selected his gift.

My Mom puts the Danish kings along a window sill with this set of five Russian churches.   Mom and Dad went on a river cruise in Russia a few years ago and brought these gorgeous onion dome churches home. 

Almost twenty-five years ago my brother and sister-in-law lived in Egypt for a couple of years.  Both my parents and hubby and myself were fortunate to be able to make trips over to visit them.  When my parents went they purchased this nativity scene that was made by the Coptic Christians in Egypt.

And there are a few Canadian nativity scenes, but none of them big and elaborate like the other ones.  This angel is from Saint-Jean-Port-Joli in Quebec, a town famous for its wood-carvers.

As is this tiny nativity scene.

This stained-glass nativity scene was given to my parents and was made by a Canadian artisan.

Wow, how did this snowman sneak into this post about nativity scenes.   He's from Nova Scotia and was just looking cute hanging out with the evergreen trees. 

Did you think I'd run out of nativity scenes to show you - well not yet.

This one is from Mexico and was given to my parents.  Each piece is very tiny and the whole set is sitting on a mat woven by my mother out of pine needles.

This clay nativity scene was made for my parents by their friend's daughter who is a potter.

Soon after they were married my Mother made this white Mary and Jesus, which would mean they are over 50 years old.  Don't you think Jesus looks like he needs a cuddle.

Many years ago my mother knit these little winter people.  She made them all different with hoods and hats and muffs and one even holds a button that looks like blueberry pie.  For years we had them in the centre of our dinner table and now they are on top of a cabinet in the kitchen.  The llamas (not sure why the kids are hanging out with llamas, but anyway) were brought back by my brother when he was in Bolivia.

Hello kids!  Careful with that pie now missy.

You kids are just looking so cute!

I hope you enjoyed the tour and aren't all nativity scened out.  It was a trip down memory lane for me as these were the Christmas decorations I grew up with. 
Linked to All Things Merry and Brite at All Things Heart and Home


  1. That was a super interesting post. I love this idea for a collection. I also love how each culture depicts the whole nativity scene.

  2. Special!

    It is like walking through Ten Thousand Villages-but with a memory linked to each item.

    I LOVE the dome churches. They are so pretty and unique.

  3. Wow! I am completely impressed!

    Great blog! Off to read some more of your posts!

    Rambles with Reese

  4. These are great! I too collect nativity scenes from where I travel. So far I have one from, Mexico (just like yours), Philippines, India, Haiti, and Costa Rica

  5. Dearest Grace,

    Just got to your blog and love it; you're a nonsense girl! So I'm following you...
    Wish you a Merry Christmas for you and your loved ones!

    Mariette's Back to Basics

  6. Grace, these nativities, including the one from your last post, are all so beautiful and special, what wonderful keepsakes!

    Kat :)

  7. Wow, Grace! What a special collecction. I am enjoying your blog so, so much becuase it is so unique.

    Merry Christmas :D

  8. What an amazing post, where on earth did you find all of these images? Have a wonderful Christmas Grace..Love Rachaelxx

  9. Grace, these are just beautiful! I love how each has a story behind them, and a memory attached. Don't you find it makes Christmas even more special? Each is beautiful in its own way... I remember studying ours as a child -- it is so intricate -- I loved looking at each of the details -- and enjoy bringing it out again each year :)

    Hope you are enjoying this joyful time of year* xoxo