Sometimes there is a specific type of Chistmas Creche or Nativity Scene that you are looking for. It might be something that you remember from your childhood, and you want to recreate that feeling for your family now. Perhaps you need a specific size or theme to fit in with your Christmas decor. Perhaps you are on a budget and need to find a reasonably cost Christmas Creche. Whatever you are looking for, you can probably find it if you are diligent and look hard enough.
There is the choice of purchasing a new Nativity set or a used one. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and you should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each before you make your decision. You might look for a lower cost version of the designer set that matches your Christmas decor.
Benefits of Vintage Nativity Sets
The biggest advantage of purchasing a vintage Nativity set or creche is that it is much less expensive than purchasing one new. Vintage sets have a history and charm all of their own. If you know the previous owner, you can add on your own memories to theirs. Of course, purchasing a new set allows you to make your own memories.
Sometimes you can sense the love with which they were set up and displayed at Christmas. By purchasing and using this type of creche, you are carrying on its unique history. Something which is rare in this throwaway age! Be friendly to the environment and reuse material whenever possible rather than seeing it thrown out.
You may be given a Vintage Nativity Set as a family heirloom. When you set it up, you can relive happy memories of holidays gone by. It is also an excellent way to pass along your family history to your children. You can create happy memories for them with every piece as well as sharing your faith by explaining the meaning of each character.
Potential Concerns with Vintage Nativity Sets
As with anything that was made before the safety requirements of today, you should exercise caution when you purchase a vintage Nativity set. Some pieces may be missing or broken which can cause injury to the unsuspecting especially if the pieces are small as they could pose a choking hazard for small children or pets.
If you have cats, you might need to be concerned about your kitty using the different pieces for kitty soccer. This is not only hazardous to your creche, it is hazardous to everyone in the house. Pieces may turn up missing. They might be found when you are walking barefoot in the house in the dark and happen to step on the missing piece! Not good for your feet! And not good for the creche!
If the Nativity set has its own lights embedded, you will need to check each wire and light to ensure they are all in working order and don’t pose a threat of an electrical short. That would make them a fire hazard. If you do use a creche with its own lights, don’t use it in or near a location that has water. You could risk electrocution if you do so. To save on electrical usage, change out the lights for LEDs which cost a lot less to use.
The glaze on ceramic Christmas Creches could also pose a problem because of the lead used to bring out the bright colors. Lead is not safe for adults and is particularly bad for children, pregnant women, and pets. You should keep children away from ceramic Nativity sets if they are prone to putting things in their mouths. The dangers of lead in ceramic glazes can be found on this fact sheet.
Whenever you purchase a vintage Nativity set, you should look at the materials with which it was made to ensure that they are safe for your family and situation.
Benefits of a Recreating a Vintage Nativity Set
If you are artistic or crafty, you may consider creating your own “Vintage” Christmas Creche. This is not one of my talents, but you can do many things if you are. There may be a style that is no longer being made, or it was made from materials that are not safe to have around your family, so you can use it to make your own out of safer materials.
This is also a good way to build a small one if your pattern is a large, outdoor set, or build a large, outdoor version of a small tabletop Creche. The sky and your imagination are the only limits.
Where You Can Find Vintage Nativity Sets
There are many different places where you can find Vintage Nativity Sets. Some of the more common are:
- Your attic and the attics of your friends and family
- Yard sales
- Estate sales
- Church sales
- Craft markets
- Flea markets
- Online markets such as Etsy, Ebay, Craig’s List, and Amazon
There are most likely more places to find Vintage Creches. These are the places that popped into my mind while thinking about where I would look.
Please comment if there is some other place to be added to this list.
It’s All Up to You!
Vintage Nativity Sets can provide you with terrific options instead of the usual big box store creches that look the same with little to no character of their own. You can set up many Nativity sets and design the decor of different room and use a different Creche for each! Design your own Nativity Town and use multiple creches! Your choice of a creche or multiple creches is yours alone to decide. Using Vintage Nativity Sets allows you to indulge your passion and use more than you ever thought possible. Have fun and make it your own!
One Reply to “Vintage Nativity Sets: Old Versus New”
My mom has a beautiful ceramic nativity set that goes in her formal living room at Christmastime. Luckily, she doesn’t have cats to bother it!
I love the idea that a used nativity scene also passes along the memories. I have seen nativity sets at thrift stores also!
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