This week’s Faith piece (Pages 14-15) is a beautiful reminder about the Advent blessing that is your Nativity scene. The simple structure and the story it tells so well reminds each of us, young or old, of the true meaning of Christmas. While most of us do have at least one Nativity set at home, in case you’re looking for a new one, or one to gift to others, here are a few interesting places to start:
For someone special
Handcrafted Nativity scenes from olive wood from the Holy Land (holylandtreasuresonline.com) can be a beautiful addition for an individual or a family. A wide variety enables you to either purchase a full scene or simply get something smaller, such as a Nativity ornament for the tree.
For families with children
The Tales of Glory Nativity Playset ($19.99 from christianbook.com) is affordable, safe and in full color, designed for kids 3 and older. Great for family play and teaching, it also includes a storybook.
For a splurge
You can’t get much more high-end than the Lladro Nativity figurines, hand-crafted in Spain out of porcelain. The Holy Family (Set Silent Night) starts at a whopping $825 and can be found at lladro.com.
For those who prefer low maintenance
The Wood-Carved Look Nativity Scene ($48.95, catholiccompany.com) is not wood-carved at all but actually made of a resin and stone mix. The low-maintenance part? All the figures are attached to the base, so it’s as easy as unwrapping and placing on a table.
For creative types, those on a budget, or those who just like cool things online
Printable coloring pages of Nativity scenes are available online (oncoloring.com, type in Nativity in the search). You can download and print them out to color at home, or you can color digitally right there on the screen. A great activity to do with family or solo.
For music lovers
The Fontanini Musical Nativity ($44.95, catholiccompany.com) is a simple selection, featuring only Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the Angel Gabriel and select animals. This reflective atmosphere is enhanced by the music of “O Holy Night,” which plays when the item is wound up.
For those who want to support a good cause
The Rose Soapstone Nativity ($72, serrv.org) is carved by artisans in southwest Kenya and sold by Serrv, a “nonprofit, fair trade organization dedicated to lifting disadvantaged artisans, farmers, and their families out of poverty.” Serrv has been a longtime partner of Catholic Relief Services. If the higher price point isn’t within your range, the site features several others for lesser amounts.
Other suggestions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @GretchenOSV on Twitter.