'Tis the Season

Yesterday we visited a church nearby where there were 400 nativity scenes on display. It was delightful. I've always loved the nativity scene. We had a table top set when I was growing up. There was a structure that represented the stable with a hole in the back wall where a Christmas tree light could be inserted to light up the scene. I can recall changing out the bulb to make it different colors, and playing with the figures for hours on end...as if it were a dollhouse.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned the nativity my grandmother made for me. You can see it right here. Until I saw the display at the church, I'd completely forgotten about the scene I purchased while traveling in Italy ten years ago. This one came from Assisi, and I fell in love with it the instant I saw it.

It's usually kept put away in my china cabinet, but this morning I got it out and put it where it can be seen, at least until Christmas is over.

When I saw this sign, I decided I needed to try to find the NPR story about the collection. 

It was reported in 2012. You can listen to it right here. I met the woman who is speaking in the story yesterday and chatted with her a little bit. There were 400 sets on display, but her collection is more than three times that size. Also, she talks a little about some of the scenes I'm about to post here.

The display was beyond enchanting to this nativity lover. I tried not to take pictures of everything I saw, but I wasn't very successful. I'll just let you look without saying much. Enjoy:

The most primitive and humble among them were the most appealing to me.

This next one may be the one mentioned in the NPR story, made from banana fronds, but I don't know that for sure.


This next one is origami.

Did you ever have occasion to make a Christmas tree from a telephone book? I tried to do it once. Just look what I could have made if only I'd put my mind to it. Yeah...I could have done it. Sure.

It's tempting to think this could be the banana frond set, but actually, I think these are corn husks.

I believe these are gourds.

The one is carved from a single piece of wood.

Gotta be Jim Shore, right?

This next one is nothing but nails!

Rubber duckies! I had to show this one to my friend whose granddaughter ended up with the Rubber Ducky baby quilt.

A few were so tiny.

It's the Real Thing!

This next one is mentioned in the NPR story. It's hard to see in this crappy cell phone image, but Mary and Joseph had some sequins on them. You can see a little just below the round of the baby Jesus's body.

And you gotta love the Holy Frijoles.

This one is a life-size egg.

So there you go...there were so many more that I didn't take pictures of. If the collection ever visits your town, it's well worth a visit. If you listened to the NPR story, then you know the collector is trying to raise money to create a nativity museum in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I'd love to see the whole collection. Maybe some day.

After that, we had dinner with our friend, Chuck. In case you were wondering about cats today, you can rest easy knowing that Chuck's cat, Felix, and I had an excellent conversation after dinner. He's kind of a hard capture on a cell phone, but he's a handsome boy. He's a Bengal, and his coat is gorgeous.

As for peace on earth here on the home front, there's this:

Today I need to do a little bit of housework, and then I'll have plenty of time for sewing. I want to make another block for the Live, Love, Teach quilt, and then I'll get at some quilting. Lots of sandwiches have piled up. Time to start culling the herd.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Feathers in my Nest said...

Thank you for this post! Loved them..my Fave is the one carved from a single piece of wood...such talent.

Kate said...

Love the nativity scenes. My Guy was walking by as I was reading this post and he stopped to look too. We both enjoyed them, thanks for sharing.

WoolenSails said...

Thank you for sharing the photos, I love nativities and so fun to see all the different ones.
I do like the batik one, haven't tried that since I was a kid.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.


Dana Gaffney said...

Thank you, they're wonderful. I like the one carved from a single piece of wood too, impressive.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Thank you for sharing a part of this exhibit - fabulous! Love the single piece of wood and the egg. We are fostering a kitty until Tuesday, when it moves on to it's new home. Bella is not amused!!

Lou said...

Thank you for sharing those nativity pictures!
I always like looking at all the different ones. I have the Precious Moments set from many years ago! Don't think they even make them anymore. Finally felt like the Kitties were old enough so put them on mantle this year. So far just smells and a few head rubs:) I guess they all approved:)

It is amazing what they were all made out of!!! Recycling at it's finest!!!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I have quite a few Nativity sets, but, my mothers best friend quit counting after 100 sets, many of them from other nations, too. I'd love to see that display.

Linda M @ Pieceful Kingdom said...

Those are all so lovely. My grandmother also did ceramics and china painting and I have quite a few Christmas items that she made me over the years. I also have some of her porcelain figurines she made with lace and china painted. It's wonderful to have some of the items she made and the memories. I would love it if the nativity display came nearer to us. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Brown Family said...

Those are some interesting and strange nativities!

Quilting Babcia said...

The computer finally loaded all your photos for this post. Fascinating exhibit. I'd love to see it someday if it ever comes to these parts. We have a very small collection of nativities, mostly picked up at yard sales, but also a large wood carved set from Liberia, and several nativity tree ornaments picked up over the years. Your grandmother's china set is a precious heirloom, as well as the one you found in Italy. Merry Christmas to all of you there at the Three Cats Ranch!

gpc said...

I totally agree about loving the primitive scenes best. What a fun display! :)