Thursday, December 8, 2022

My Nativity Scene

I have written that in Mexico, many families set up elaborate Nativity scenes which might take up most of a room and which include an array of villagers, animals and buildings recreating a distinctly Mexican reimagining of Bethlehem.  I have also written about my shopping trips to Mexican markets to find more figures for my Nativity scene.

Even though I left the figures that I bought on my most recent trip at the apartment in Mexico City (if all goes according to plan, by next Christmas I will have moved to Mexico), my Nativity display here has grown, and it is displayed in my living room in Ohio in three sections.

On the mantle above the fireplace is the set which I bought in Mexico City back in the 1980s.

There had just been a devaluation of the peso, and for travelers with dollars everything was ridiculously inexpensive.  I purchased this delightful set at Sanborns (a Mexican chain of stores) for less than the equivalent of $10.  My friend Frank built the "portal" or archway to go with it.


On top of a bookshelf, I have some figures which I acquired earlier this year.

Last January, Alejandro gave me the chicken coop and the pigs as a "Day of the Kings" present.  I found the figures of the shepherd with his sheep in a store in Puebla.

I set up my remaining figures on the floor beneath the fireplace.  I bought some green felt, and bags of moss and pebbles to create a landscape.

After the holidays I will have to buy some boxes and lots of bubble wrap to carefully wrap and pack everything so that I can ship it to Mexico when I move.


  1. This is great!

    My sister has been searching for a one-piece nativity scene that includes a manger; she had one that was lost in a movie, and one with individual pieces, such as yours, would not survive the path of destruction that her toddler son wages on a daily basis.

    1. The handicraft markets in Mexico City have loads of one-piece Nativity scenes, but they are usually miniatures. (For example, a Nativity scene within the shell of a walnut.)
      Merry Christmas, Scott!