The Best Nativity Sets
To help you find the perfect nativity set, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable nativity sets. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.
Runner-ups: 8 Best Nativity Set Alternatives
Table of Contents
Buying Guide for Nativity Sets
You will discover many nativity sets that are carved out of wood. Do some research, and find out what type of wood is used in the set you are interested in. Learn what type of care is needed to keep it looking its best over time.
Glass and PorcelainGlass or porcelain is an elegant material often used to create nativity sets. These types of sets are fragile and tend to break easily, but they do have a beautiful look to them that catch the light wonderfully.
Metal is another type of material used to make nativity sets, but it isn’t as common as wood, porcelain, or glass. Metal cut outs of the holy scene are terrific for outdoor use, while metals such as pewter can be just as elegant as glass when displayed inside.
Additional ChoicesUnusual materials used in nativity sets include fabric, wax, terra-cotta, plastic, and even straw. These materials can make your nativity set unique and special. Fabric creates a country feel while terra-cotta can be rustic. Plastics are perfect for nativity sets that young children will be interacting with. Don’t close your mind off to these options.
Nativity Set Considerations
Nativity sets can be found in a wide range of artistic styles. You should look for one that reflects your own personal taste and blends nicely with your other holiday décor. Many are portrayed in a very realistic way while others could be called folk art. Abstract varieties can include animals or specific nationalities portraying the characters in the scene.
Painted verses UnpaintedNativity sets can be left unfinished so that the material used to construct them is the highlight. This is the case for most glass nativities. Other sets are painted. This can add fine detail to the pieces along with color and texture.
OriginMany countries have a specific style associated with the nativity scenes their craftsmen create. German nativities are highly collectible due to their unique features. Spain and Italy are also well known for producing beautiful works of art.
Indoor or Outdoor
Nativities can be displayed indoors or outdoors. Outdoor sets are made of materials that can withstand the weather and varying temperatures while indoor sets are more delicate. If you want your nativity set for outside use, look for larger scenes made out of finished wood or metals that have been rated for outdoor use.
Once you have decided whether you are going to use your nativity set inside or outdoors and have chosen the material that best suits your holiday décor, you will need to consider a few more factors. Some nativity scenes come in complete sets. Others are sold as individual pieces that you purchase over time as a collection. Many sets include a manger, backdrop, or base for the scene, but individual pieces offer a coordinating stable that can be purchased separately. The size of each piece should also be taken into consideration.
Individual pieces verses a SetNativity sets usually include Joseph, Mary, and the Baby Jesus. Some will also have the three wise men, shepherds, and an angel. Buying the set ensures that all of your figures will coordinate and fit nicely into the stable or backdrop provided. If you buy the pieces individually, make sure they are part of a series that will be offered over the next few years. This lets you to slowly build your collection as your budget allows.
Manger or Other BackdropWhether you buy a nativity set or start a nativity collection, you will have to decide what type of backdrop to use. Manger scenes are often depicted in a stable, but you can also find beautiful bases to use as well as folding mirrors to place behind the figures.
Nativity sets range in size from just a few inches in height to life size displays. Where you plan to place your nativity set will help determine the size you will want to look for. Remember that you will need room to store the set between holiday seasons.
The amount of nativity sets available can be over whelming, but if you simply want a reasonably priced scene to include in your family’s holiday décor, Fontanini and Brubaker both make very nice, complete sets. Each manufacturer provides the stable, the holy family, shepherds, and the kings for a ready to use nativity.
If you are interested in starting a collection, Willow Tree has all of the nativity figures available as well as a crèche. They also offer a complete nativity set for those who don’t want to spend time buying individual pieces.
Families with small children may be interested in the whimsical Fisher Price and Fun Express Mini Christmas Nativity Sets. These colorful displays include all of the figures in child-friendly materials. It is a great way to allow little ones to explore the meaning of Christmas in a hands-on experience.
Top Rated Nativity Sets
If you're looking into finding the best rated nativity set, you should probable check out the Fontanini by Roman Classic Holy Family Set. We looked at various sources of reviews and found this one to have the best mix between review count and average rating stars.
Often, going for the best price is a simple but good option. With a price of $41.33 (last checked on May 26, 2019), we do not list any other nativity set cheaper than the Kurt Adler 11-Piece Set. Just remember that it's not always the best option to go for the cheapest one.
The Nativity Set with the Most Reviews
With at least 62 reviews and counting, the Fontanini by Roman Classic Holy Family Set might be another option to consider. This large amount of reviews signalizes that many people are using it, with most of them beeing satisfied.
It's quite rare that the saying "You get what you pay for" turns out incorrect. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list: The Three Kings Gifts Christmas Lighted Stable Manger for 14 inch Scale Set currently sells for $134.95.
Most Clicked Nativity Set
If you trust us and our users, feel free to check out the JoyStar Crafts Set. Our statistics say that it is the most favorite Nativity Set from the list above.
If you're still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling nativity set: The Precious Moments" O Come Let Us Adore Him Advent Calendar for currently $108.37 on Amazon (last checked on May 26, 2019).
That's it for now, please remember that this list is updated on a regular basis.
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Further Reading on Nativity Sets
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Wikipedia Article for Nativity Set
… Figure 2. A nativity set (L4) in which mosses cover a large area of the display. 376 F. LARA ET AL. Page 4 … These are less common or less attractive mosses, and were selected only by a limited number of nativity set designers …