Nativity scenes during Christmas are created and displayed in many places including Church, private homes, super malls, public places, commercial establishments, etc. A nativity scene depicts the birth of the child Jesus and will typically portray Mother Mary holding the infant Jesus in her cradle with Joseph and other characters such as the shepherds, the angles, and the Magi surrounding the newborn. Since Jesus was born near the manger in a cave or a barn, there will also be animals such as a sheep, an ox, a donkey, or a camel in which the Magi traveled.
The purpose of the depiction of the scene is to convey the traditional spirit of Christmas. The tradition of portraying a nativity scene was first started by St. Francis of Assisi in the year of 1223. However, that nativity portrayal was a living one, which means real people had staged the story of the birth. Over time this tradition has undergone many changes and now nativity portrayal can be a living one (in the form of plays organized by church and other groups), but also scenes portraying the story through picture, or three dimensional figures such as lay, glass, stone figurines, etc.
Outdoor nativity sets are meant to be displayed at the lawn or the garden area of the private houses, in front of big stores, or super malls, etc. Most of these sets can be bought readymade these days from a number of Christmas stores. They can also be bought online. Most of these sets will have a complete and compact set of characters. However, one can still add certain other characters or details according to one’s preference. For outdoor sets, many these days also use plastic decorations which will not be ruined even under adverse weather conditions such as rain, etc. Although clay figurines look more traditional, they can be spoiled in rain or bad weather conditions. Moreover, there is a risk of children getting injured when playing around them. For this reason, many prefer to use plastic decorations or inflatable figures for outdoor sets. They are easy to use and can be dismantled very quickly once the celebrations are over and can be reused the next time around again right out of the box.
When choosing your set, you must also pay enough attention to the quality of the paints which are used, especially if you are looking to use it for more than one season. If the paints get peeled or get faded, it will not look nice when you use it the next time round. One can also prepare these sets with separately bought pieces. This gives you more flexibility in the preparation of the sets. You may also craft the figures yourself if you have some experience in clay modeling. Nothing is more fun that creating your own nativity scene. Try to include the children from the home in the task, too. The kids will love it and it will give a whole new dimension to the joy of your Christmas preparation.