One of my favorite parts of Christmas has always been the nativity scene that we put up at Christmas time growing up. When I got married, that didn't change and we got a small one for our first Christmas. Now I have a variety of ones. If I could I would have a dozen more, but I don't have any room...sorry no pun intended there...for any more! My dream nativity is the Willow Tree one, but until then I will enjoy the ones I already have.
The Large Nativity in the background of this first picture is a paper one from the 1940's, it is exactly like the one I had as a child. My mom gave me ours, but it was in such poor shape, I wanted to get another to replace it. Ebay had quite a few of them a few years back and they weren't very hard to get at all, now it's nearly impossible to find a good one that isn't terribly expensive. I love the look of it, the style of illustration is one of my absolute favorites. The pastel colored one is from my late grandmother, she even dated it with the year she gave it to me. The other is an ornament I found a few years ago.
The metal nativity is from Old Town San Diego, next to it is my nativity from our first trip to Hawaii, made from a coconut, the metal one with the paper backing is another one of my favorites, the others are ones I have either collected or been given. The nativity below this picture is another one I picked up at an after Christmas sale. Next to it on the left, is an adorable ornament I received as a gift, it's one I want to try and make to give as a gift some day!
This nativity (picture below) has a very unique story with it that took place about 8 years ago. The kids were still pretty young, making the whole experience even more exciting to them. Not long after Thanksgiving we started getting small packages in the mail with each one containing one figure from a nativity set,coloring pages or an activity sheet and a hymn or story to go along with the certain figure. I kept a record of each package and the date we received it and put it in a folder. On Christmas Eve., the doorbell rang and there was our friends and their children standing there. As soon as we opened the door the youngest was holding the manager with baby Jesus, and everyone singing "Away in the Manger." (Not having the folder right in front of me, I don't remember if they sent the stable part later on or when they arrived that night.) Needless to say, this one has the best story behind it.
This nativity was what we picked out for our first Christmas after we were married. When we first purchased it we used the large stable two pictures up, then I found the smaller one and began using it with our Advent Candle Wreath.
I also have a Precious Moments Christmas Nativity set, but it's in our display case in our hallway. I usually take it out, but right now I can't get to it. My mom is responsible for that one, giving me a portion of it each year. I am not a big fan of precious moments, but have to say I really like this set, and keep it out on display all year long. We also have the Little People Nativity, which is favorite of my daughter. I use it for church when I am teaching with the younger children, so it often out all year long as well.
In addition to my nativity sets, I have variety of nativity ornaments that I have collected over the years, plus a variety of artwork that I have kept over the years from the children. Definitely my favorite part of Christmas are Nativities!