When is baby jesus placed in the nativity scene: Christmas Nativity. Jesus was Born in a Manger. Holiday Scene.

Christmas Nativity. Jesus was Born in a Manger. Holiday Scene.

Christmas Nativity Manger Scene

About Christmas Nativity Manger

What do you do when your wife is about to deliver a special child and there’s no room at the Inn? Why, you go around to the back of the Inn and settle into the manger with the animals. It’s a most humble beginning to the amazing life of Jesus Christ. The Christmas Nativity scene depicts the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas morning. Born in a manger, Jesus came to save humankind from sin. The nativity scene is truly the meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate this day. Without it, none of Christmas and its traditions would have evolved into the special day that it has become.

Most Christians recreate the Nativity scene in their homes or front lawns during the holiday. Displays are created indoors, or out. The Nativity set is the last Christmas display to be put away each year. It is kept up until January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. This is also known as the Feast of the Nativity or “Little Christmas”. 

The Elements of the Nativity Scene

Nativity scenes typically include the manger and numerous nativity figurines.

  • Manger (or stable) – usually made of wood, sometimes made of other materials like ceramics.
  • Crib – For Baby Jesus to lay in
  • Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
  • Shepherds, Shepherd boy
  • Angels
  • The Three Wisemen, also known as the Three Kings – Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar
  • Sheep, oxen, camels, and other barnyard animals
  • Straw – for the manger floor and around the front of the manger

Note: A Nativity scene should be simple, not elaborate. It should reflect upon the simplicity and humbleness of Christ’s birth. But, we believe selection or creation of a nativity set is no time to scrimp (unless you are tight on cash).  Use wood or natural materials. Don’t buy or use plastic. And, decorate the scene tastefully.

Christmas Nativity Traditions

Set up the Nativity set early in the holiday season in a prominent area of the house where all will see.

Light the scene, indoors or out.

Do not put the baby Jesus into the manger until Christmas morning.

Sing Happy Birthday on Christmas morning 

Leave the nativity set up until the Feast of the Epiphany. This is called “Little Christmas”.

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Spending time with Christ: A family guide to the Nativity

The history of the Nativity scene

St. Francis of Assisi established the first Nativity scene in 1223 in Grecio, a small town in Italy. As he was preparing for Christmas Eve Mass, St. Francis was trying to think of a way to remind people that Jesus came not as a wealthy king but as a poor child born among animals. So he wrote to Pope Honorius III and obtained permission to create a living Nativity scene.

In a cave near town, Francis set up an altar. He brought in a manger filled with hay as well as a live ox and a donkey. He invited the townspeople to come, and he preached about the humble beginnings of the Christ Child.

The idea of re-creating Jesus’ birth was very popular. Churches in Italy created displays made out of terra cotta. In the middle of the 1500s, families began to put up Nativity scenes in their homes. And living Nativity scenes like the one that St. Francis started centuries ago remain popular to this day.

Who was there?

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke describe Jesus’ birth. Mary, Jesus’ mother, and Joseph came to Bethlehem together with their donkey right before Jesus was born. When there was no room at any of the inns for them to stay, they ended up in a stable where animals were kept. So the Nativity scene includes Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the animals in a stable, as well as a manger, or trough, where Baby Jesus slept.

In Luke, we learn about the angel who brought the shepherds “good news of great joy” (Lk 2:10, NRSV) when Jesus was born, so we include the shepherds and the angel in our Nativity scene.

And in Matthew, Chapter 2, we read about the Wise Men, or Magi, who came to visit Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. So we add the Wise Men to our Nativity scene as well.

Celebrating the Nativity around the world

In Latin countries such as Mexico and Guatemala, families remember the Nativity story with a celebration called Las Posadas. It takes place over the nine nights before Christmas, representing the nine months when Mary was expecting Baby Jesus. The festivities include prayer, Christmas carols and re-enactments of Mary and Joseph’s search for a posada — a hotel or inn.

Before the 1600s in England, families baked a mince pie in the shape of a manger, and Baby Jesus was placed on the pie until dinnertime. This is why mincemeat pies are often a part of Christmas celebrations today.

After the French Revolution ended in 1799, the creators of Nativity sets in France began to add ordinary people to the scenes, including bakers, farmers and carpenters. They wanted to help everyone picture themselves receiving the Christ Child.

Manger moments

When Advent begins, set up your family’s Nativity scene. As you place each piece in the crèche, talk about what that person or animal might have been thinking or experiencing on that holy night when Jesus was born.

  • You could follow the German tradition of waiting to put Baby Jesus in the manger until Christmas Eve. Until that time, kids can help create a soft bed for Jesus by putting a piece of hay or golden yarn in the manger each time they do a good deed. Talk about those good deeds each night at dinner.
  • You can set up the shepherds a bit away from the crèche, since they were taking care of their sheep until the angel came and told them the good news. Allow your children to move the shepherds around each day, just as the shepherds would have moved in the fields. You can even put the three Wise Men further still and allow your children to move them a bit closer to the Nativity scene every day until Christmas. Ask your children to describe what the shepherds and Magi are doing each day.
  • With your children, write a greeting to Baby Jesus from each person in the Nativity scene. Share them aloud on Christmas Eve.
  • Let your children become the Wise Men. Help them choose simple new baby items at the store and, amid the gift-opening frenzy of Christmas Day, have your kids place the items at the manger. Afterward, donate the items to a women’s shelter or children’s shelter in your area.


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Ox, donkey, sheep: how did they actually end up at the manger?

Estimated reading time: 8 min.



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“Thomas” again invites readers to walk the road to Christmas together. Every day in the online Christmas calendar “Foma” creates a festive mood for you: one day – one gift.

Today Roman Daruev presents a text by the author of “Thomas” Natalya Kharpaleva, in which you will learn: what kind of animals were in the cave next to the birth of Christ, which figurines and why are they placed in Christmas cribs.

Familiar touching Christmas picture:
a nativity scene, at the manger of the Infant Christ – a donkey, a calf, curly white lambs …
They bent over the Baby and warmed Him with their breath… And somehow there is no reason to think,
Where exactly did they all come from?

Well, where from?
It is clear: the nativity scene is a cave where shepherds kept their cattle. Here are all the home
animals lived, apparently, in this cave. And they were probably very puzzled by how
In a way, in their shelter, it’s not enough to say – a Child suddenly appeared in their feeder.

But no. Firstly,
in the New Testament, animals are not mentioned at all at the birth of Christ. legends about
will, donkey and sheep preserved church traditions. However, the holy fathers, theologians
for many centuries, each in their own way interprets the meaning of the presence of each of
these animals in the story of Christmas.

And secondly, if we imagine
real situation and reason logically, most likely a cave at the moment when
Joseph and Mary came to her, she was … empty!

First of all, worth
find out what kind of cave? Professor Alexander Pavlovich Lopukhin writes in his
Interpretation of Holy Scripture:

In nursery “. From this mention of a manger where fodder is placed,
it can be seen that the Blessed Virgin and Joseph fit in the cattle pen, with
hotel. The rooms in this last one turned out to be all occupied, but in the common room
it was inconvenient for them to stop due to the expected permission from hour to hour
Mary. According to ancient tradition, this corral was set up in a cave (Justin
Philosopher. “Conversation with Tryphon the Jew”, 78, 5; Origen, “Against Celsus”, I, 51),
which was not in the city itself, but near it”
. That is, according to Lopukhin,
the cave where the Savior was born was “at the hotel” – those who came to Bethlehem
with their animals, left horses, donkeys, camels in this paddock, while they themselves
settled in the city.

There is another
version of the purpose of the cave. Saint Demetrius of Rostov reports:

“… And near Bethlehem, to the east, against the well of David, near which he once thirsted greatly and said: “Who will give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, which is at the gate?” (2 Samuel 23:15) – there is a cave in a stone mountain, on which the city of Bethlehem is located. Not far from this cave was a field that belonged to Salome , who was also a resident of Bethlehem and was a relative of both the Virgin Mary and Joseph.

And when Joseph was approaching the city, unmarried
It was time for the pure Bride to give birth, and he began to look for a house for the night, where
The mother could find a place convenient for Herself in order to give birth
blessed Fruit of His womb. But he did not find a home for himself,
cause of the multitude of people who came to record, which not only overflowed
general hotel, but the whole city. Therefore, Joseph retired to the named cave,
because there was no place for them in the hotel, and the day was already leaning toward evening. And that the cave served as a shelter for cattle …»

In other words, according to
versions of Demetrius of Rostov, Maria and Joseph, not finding a place in hotels
Bethlehem, went to a cave that belonged to their relative Salome. Logically.

What about the donkey and
an ox?

Start with
the carpenter Joseph, together with his betrothed wife Mary, lived in Nazareth temporarily. IN
Nazareth, Joseph had a job, but both he and She were from Bethlehem. When
a census was announced, Joseph could go to Bethlehem alone and record himself there,
and Maria. But he took his wife with him, perhaps because she was then already
in the last stages of pregnancy and her husband was afraid to leave her alone. A.P. Lopukhin
writes about it like this:0003

“Which was
. Here’s the real reason why
Joseph took Mary with him: it was impossible to leave Her, pregnant, alone for a long time.
time, because the journey to Bethlehem could really take a long time.
Mary in Nazareth would have remained defenseless.”

The way from Nazareth to
Bethlehem took three days. It was already difficult for Mary to walk, so she was being carried
donkey. Whether the animal belonged to Joseph or was “rented” is unknown, but
we can confidently say that the donkey was from Nazareth.

And the calf? More precisely –
ox? It turns out that he also did not wait for the Savior in the den, but came with Mary from
Nazareth. Saint Demetrius of Rostov: “ … an ox
brought Joseph in order to sell him and pay the due tribute levied on
the command of Caesar, and also to buy everything you need for yourself.
In other words, according to
version of the saint, Joseph needed money – for something he had to live in
Bethlehem and with something to pay taxes.

Archimandrite Nikifor Bozhanov calls Joseph the Betrothed, “ a righteous and pious man, but who lived in Nazareth in poverty and earned his livelihood by his labors . It was not so easy for an eighty-year-old impoverished carpenter, even if he was from a royal family, to find funds for a winter trip with his wife and unborn child, which is still unknown how long it will last. Here is the ox, which Joseph took with him on the road to Bethlehem, became such a “deposit” for him, which, given the many people who had come to the city for the census, could be quite profitably realized. And, apparently, Joseph succeeded, because the Gospel of Matthew says about the Magi: “And entering the house, they saw the Child with Mary, His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him” (Mt 2:11) “…entering the house…” Not into a cave, but into a house . That is, the Magi arrived in Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus, when the main influx of people subsided and when the Holy Family had already found refuge in a house more arranged and adapted for the Mother and Child. For staying in the house it was necessary, of course, to pay something. It was then, perhaps, that the money received from the sale of the ox helped Joseph out.

…But back to
nativity scene, by the very moment of Christmas.

Ox and donkey. « Both of these dumb animals, standing at the manger,
they warmed the Baby with their breath, on the occasion of the then winter time, and
thus served their Master and Creator,”
– writes Dimitri

As is known, there are no simple coincidences in Holy Scripture — every word, every letter has many meanings, references and subtexts. There is also a mention of an ox and a donkey. But – not in the New Testament, but … in the Old” An ancient prophecy reads: “… the ox knows its master, and the donkey mangers its master; but Israel does not know me, my people do not understand” (Isaiah 1:3).” And on Christmas Day this prophecy is being fulfilled: humble animals leaning over Christ symbolize the pagans (donkey) and Jews (ox). Here is how Blessed Augustine of Hippo writes about this: On behalf of the Jews – a horned animal, for they prepared the horns of the cross for Christ. From the name of the Gentiles – a long-eared animal, for it was predicted: A people whom I did not know served me, according to the hearing of the ear obeyed me (Ps 17:44-45). For the Owner of the ox and the Lord of the donkey Himself lay down in the manger, and gave them both common food. Ox is about Jews, donkey is about Gentiles; both came to the same manger and found there the food of the Word” .

As for
other animals, which are usually depicted next to the manger in dens, about their
presence is debatable.

Sheep could well have been next to the Baby. But not at the very moment of the birth of Christ, but a little later. Evangelist Luke testifies: “ In that country there were shepherds in the field, who kept night watch over their flock ” (Luke 2:8 ) “. ..herds…”. That is, the herd was one. Most likely sheep. The Jews believed that the Messiah was to be born in the “tower of the flock” near Bethlehem. Sheep were grazed here, which were intended for temple sacrifices. It turns out that the shepherds who came to worship Christ were connected with the Jerusalem temple? And the Angel of the Lord did not just appear to these shepherds just like that – he warned them that a new time was coming: the shepherds would soon be out of work. No more animals will be needed for slaughter, the Son of God Himself will bring the sacrifice for the sins of people. If we accept this version, and assume that the shepherds did not leave the flock, but came to the cave along with the sheep, then the lambs, who looked into the cave along with their guides, saw their Savior in the manger too.

Maybe everything
simpler – the Angel of the Lord chose the shepherds to announce the news of Christmas
because they were simple-hearted, non-malicious people, to whom he revealed himself
Savior. Not publicans and Pharisees, not the rich and the nobility, but simple shepherds of sheep.
We should not forget that we call the Savior Himself the Great Shepherd and…

At Christmas
sometimes you can meet a dog in the den. The dog at the manger of Christ … Is it possible? Why
No? Shepherds at all times were helped by dogs, and during the appearance of an angel
The Lord’s next to the shepherds must have been a sheep keeper. If everyone has
The “Christmas” animal has its own symbolism, is it possible to find it for a dog? Yes.
A.S. Uvarov in his book “Christian Symbolism. Symbolism
ancient Christian period” mentions images of a dog, which are often
met at the foot of grave monuments in early Christian times and
calls them a symbol of the Christian himself – the dog then symbolized fidelity
church doctrines and vigilance against heresies.

What other creatures of God
put painters, sculptors, puppeteers in the Nativity scene? Occasionally doves.
The dove is a traditional symbol of the Holy Spirit. Cockerels and hens in the nest – with
chickens and eggs. Here, of course, the egg is a symbol of life, an Easter symbol. In quite
in exotic cases, even … camels appear in the den! And this too
there is an explanation. On camels, according to legend, the eastern kings arrived in Bethlehem –
magicians with gifts. Camels are mentioned in Isaiah’s prophecy: “ Then you will see, and rejoice, and tremble
and your heart will expand, because the riches of the sea will return to you,
nations will come to you. Many camels will cover you – dromedaries from Midian
and Efa; they will all come from Sheba, bring gold and frankincense and proclaim glory

Everything is possible. Not
in vain at Matins on the feast of the Nativity of Christ they sing: “ Today every creature rejoices and rejoices, as Christ was born of the Virgin
“. Every creature rejoices – and people, and animals, and Heavenly Forces.
Christ is born, praise!

See also:

Christmas. Nativity scene: outside and inside

Nativity scenes from all over the world: from classics to walnut shells and corn

Nativity video

Nativity scene made of white paper template. Master class on making a Christmas nativity scene with your own hands

The tradition of making a Christmas nativity scene originated many decades ago. Such a composition usually depicts the greatest event for Christians – the birth of Jesus Christ. Nowadays, many honor this tradition and make Christmas nativity scenes with their own hands. Master classes help to understand how the composition should look and what materials it can be made of.

This plot composition can be made on the eve of a magical holiday at home or in kindergarten. Using the nativity scene as a visual aid, adults can easily convey to children the essence of the event, which is annually celebrated all over the world. Here’s what you need for the creative process:

The main parts of the composition: the house, the situation inside it and the figures of the characters. They can be made from anything, but the easiest option is cloth flaps and cardboard. Experienced needlewomen, of course, will not limit themselves to this, but will bring something of their own.

Making a house and characters

Work can be started by making a figure of a sorcerer. First draw a circle. The height of the doll’s torso will be equal to the radius of the circle. 2 perpendicular lines are drawn through the center of the circle. Two diameters are obtained, intersecting at a right angle. One sector is cut out – it is no longer useful. The rest is screwed into a cone. The edges are glued or pinned in several places with a stapler.

The arms are also made from cones. Since they are thinner than the body, you will need one circle of small diameter, which is divided into 2 halves. Each is rolled into a cone and is not attached anywhere yet.

Blanks are covered with a bright fabric, preferably velvet. The edges are glued with double-sided adhesive tape and pinned with a stapler. Using safety pins or tape, attach the arms to the body.

To make a head, take a ball of white thread. If it is not there, a ball twisted from thin paper and wrapped with threads will do. The next stage is the creation of a headdress. It is made from a piece of bright fabric. It should turn out something like the Arabs wear, when the edges fall on all sides. A braid is tied over the fabric around the circumference of the head.

The head is attached to the body, making sure that it looks proportional, and connect both parts with wire. The short end is inserted into the ball, and the long end is threaded into the body and straightened there. Shepherds, Joseph, Mary are made in the same way. To make a crib out of paper with your own hands, templates are not required. In this version, it is a box draped with fabric. Garlands are hung in it, not forgetting about safety.

A smaller decorated box is placed inside the nativity scene – this will be a nursery. Some hay is placed in it and a figure of Jesus is placed.

Cotton swab sheep

Sheep figurines can be placed near the cradle with the baby. The easiest way is to cut it out of paper and glue all the parts together, and draw the muzzle with felt-tip pens. This option is more suitable for children’s crafts. Beautiful animals are obtained from plastic eggs and cotton buds. Lamb manufacturing scheme:

The muzzle of the animal is made from three cotton swabs. They are folded so that the ends diverge slightly. In this place, cotton wool is wound, laying it between the sticks. With the help of glue, the lump is given the desired shape. The free edges are pushed through the holes into the egg. Eyes, mouth and nose can be made from any suitable material, such as decorative buttons. Also, these parts can be knitted or drawn.

Now arrange all the figures and turn on the garland. That’s all, the nativity scene is ready!

Nativity scene made of plasticine

In the company of a child, you can create a Christmas composition from paper or plasticine. In the first case, the house is made of paper, like all other figures, and such a craft does not need a master class. With plasticine, the situation is a little more complicated, but the composition is very interesting. You can involve children in the creation of the den – they will be very happy to help. Materials and tools that will be needed for work:

The figurine of a baby is molded without working out the details, since only the head will be visible from under the blanket. The face is sculpted more carefully, with the study of the nose, mouth and eye. Curly hair is made from hard brown plasticine. To do this, a strip of the same thickness is cut off with a stack, while it will be folded into a spiral. A few of these curls are enough, since the baby will be small.

Eyes can be made from beads. The finished baby is wrapped in a blanket (lace handkerchief) and tied with a bow. The cradle will rest on legs made from parts of skewers. It is molded from hard plasticine, and the pillow is made from soft plasticine. The side surfaces of the cradle are decorated with pieces of mat.

The nativity scene in this craft is made from skewers assembled in the form of a hut. They take a plate from under the cake or a pizza stand, put 3 skewers and connect the upper ends with plasticine. It turns out the basis for the hut. The space between the sticks is completed using the same wooden skewers. A star is set above the entrance with the help of plasticine.

The structure is decorated with hay. It is convenient to attach it to pieces of plasticine. It is necessary to try so that this material is not looked through anywhere. Additional decorations – Christmas trees made of straw – are hung on eyelets on both sides of the entrance. Animal figurines are made from toothpicks and plasticine
, birds and people. You can complicate the task and make the characters in a different way, for example, sew, knit, or cut and glue from cardboard.

Doll making options

Characters for the nativity scene can be made of finger, wood or knit. To create dolls from fabric, you will need fleece cuts, felt and multi-colored beads. Such characters can be put on fingers to act out a Christmas performance. Beads are needed to decorate outfits and decorate eyes. Finger puppets are sewn according to patterns or without them, depending on the complexity. Before and after the performance, they can be attached to the nativity scene with pieces of Velcro. In this case, the nativity scene is made from a cardboard box, sheathed with fabric and closed with a button, leaving it like that until Christmas.

Wooden dolls for the Christmas nativity scene are sold ready-made, and if you wish, you can carve them yourself. Characters are dressed in fabric or paper outfits
, not forgetting the headgear. Sheep are made from cotton buds, as described in the previous master class, or ready-made soft toys are taken, only they should be small.

An important part of the composition is the gifts of the Magi. It is best to mold them from hard plasticine. The star is made in the form of a projection. To do this, cut a hole of a similar shape in a plastic egg and place a flashing or regular light from any children’s toy inside.

It’s very easy to make a crib out of the box. A shoe store is suitable, and besides it, you will need 2 covers. The main part serves as a cave where the cradle with the baby is located. One cover is placed horizontally, and the Magi, Mary and Joseph are placed on it. The second cover is placed on the side and an angel figure is attached to it. The surface of the box and lids is designed as desired.

From these instructions, it is generally clear what a nativity scene is. The work templates proposed above allow you to develop your own options. A successful Christmas composition will be used for more than one year, delighting adults and children.

Attention, only TODAY!

The New Year is approaching – a holiday loved by everyone since childhood, fabulous and sparkling. And soon after it comes the bright feast of the Nativity of Christ
. This is also in many ways a children’s holiday, when the world rejoices at the birth of a Baby, glorifies and celebrates this great event. And, probably, in many families these days, near a beautiful Christmas tree, there will be a Christmas nativity scene made by the hands of children and parents.

What is it, how to make it and when to install it? Let’s try to answer these questions.

History and traditions of nativity scenes

Silent night, a cave for cattle, a bright star above it, and a tiny Christ with his Mother in a manger – this story has been embodied in art for many centuries. The tradition of making a “nativity scene” – to reproduce the scene of the Nativity with the help of figurines from different materials – came to us in Russia relatively recently from European countries. Now in all countries where there is Christianity, there is such a custom, and their own characteristics have been formed.

For example, in France, the figurines from the nativity scene are brownish in color and hand-painted; in Italy and Germany they are wooden and varnished, the aroma of incense or flower oil is certainly added; in England figurines for the nativity scene are generally . .. edible! Very refined and delicate figurines in Mexico are made of porcelain or faience with inlay.

And in Japan, all the characters are dressed, of course, in local national costumes, and they do not draw faces: according to Japanese tradition, this means the primacy of the spiritual principle.

There are no strict rules when to install a nativity scene.

Most often, they decorate houses and temples from January 2 – the New Year has died down, the pre-feast of Christmas begins. But it would be quite appropriate to make and deliver it earlier, even from the end of November (from the beginning of the Advent). But the nativity scene usually always stands until the end of Christmas time (until January 19), then it is removed.

Number members of the composition

the nativity scene can be different, only Christ, the Mother of God and, as a rule, St. Joseph are obligatory. Most often next to them – a sheep, a calf, sometimes a donkey or other animals. According to legend, the first to hear the news of the birth of Christ were the shepherds, to whom the angel appeared, and hurried to the cave – therefore, all of them often participate in the picture. A few days after Christmas, three wise men, Gaspard, Belshazzar and Melchior, came to the Infant, following the star, bringing rich gifts – gold, myrrh and incense. Sometimes their figures are added later. And above the den is placed the Star of Bethlehem.

All these figurines are not really dolls. They are not played, this composition is static and serves as a symbol, a reminder of Christmas. Moreover, most often in Russia, instead of figurines of the Holy Family, they simply put the icon of the Nativity in the center.

What is the nativity scene made of? Let’s just say – there are many options here, it all depends on your imagination and capabilities. Compositions range from simple to highly professional. But we will talk mainly about simple versions of nativity scenes, which can often be made literally from improvised means.

Nativity base

First of all, for the cave itself we need either a box or a crate. We cover it with paper, most often brown (wood color) or gray (rocks). Sometimes the paper wrinkles on purpose:

The top is usually dark blue with stars; on top of the nativity scene is the Star of Bethlehem made of foil or gold paper. Traditionally, the star was made voluminous and illuminated from within; but it is quite possible to get by with a reflection of the lights if you decorate the nativity scene with illumination.

Hay or spruce twigs are often placed on the floor. There are dens made of clay, plastic, using stones. But it is possible to do without a cardboard or wooden base altogether – for example, a beautiful fabric drapery can replace it:

Nativity scene using toys sets and souvenirs and decorate the whole composition. A few branches or some dry grass, a candle or a garland, perhaps tinsel – and each nativity scene is unique!

And in this nativity scene the figure of an angel is crocheted. There are craftswomen who completely make the whole plot in this technique! But, perhaps, we will limit ourselves to less labor-intensive options …

Paper nativity scenes

When making homemade Christmas nativity scenes, of course, paper technique is most popular. You can draw figures on cardboard or paper, cut them out and fix them on a transverse base:

You can roll the bodies into a cone, glue them together by gluing flat handles, and you get three-dimensional characters. Heads can be flat paper, clay, dough, plastic balls, etc., there is also room for your imagination:

But, although not a nativity scene in the strict sense of the word, but the same plot, and amazingly beautiful silhouette technique:

Nativity scenes using plasticine so that the nativity scene lasts for several years) for making nativity scene figurines is also a very affordable and uncomplicated option. Everything here depends only on skill and patience:

Of course, you can add beads, silver paper and other beautiful little things. Sometimes you get real masterpieces!

Or you can simply add plasticine figures of the Magi and Shepherds to the existing toy sheep and an angel, borrowing the gifts of the Magi from the dolls:

Clay, salt dough

. But clay figures look more “alive” and natural. Clay figures, and sometimes molded from dough, are baked in the oven and then painted – with special paints or ordinary gouache.

Master class on making a Christmas nativity scene

Author: Ilya Goncharov, 5th grade student of the Tubinskaya secondary school
Head: Valentina Sergeevna Veshkina, teacher of the ORSSE of the Tubinskaya secondary school

master class is intended for students in grades 1-4, primary school teachers, creative parents, teachers of additional education, teachers of the ORKSE.
: The nativity scene can be used to act out the story of the birth of Jesus Christ in the classroom or at home, in the study of the history of the feast of the Nativity of Christ.
We used the layout at the extra-curricular event “Christmas Nativity Scene”, where children with disabilities acted out a beautiful story of the Nativity of Christ for younger schoolchildren in a puppet show. The ability to see, examine, play the image helps students studying in the auxiliary correctional program to better perceive and remember what they saw at the event.

creating a model of a nativity scene

develop imaginative thinking by making a layout
develop regulative skills: plan activities, gradually implement the planned, bring what has been started to the end
cultivate interest in history, search activities
cardboard box, fabric scraps, furniture stapler or large office stapler, rods, secateurs, scissors, needle, thread, PVA glue, adhesive tape.
Safety precautions when working with scissors (secateurs):

1. Scissors must be well adjusted and sharpened.
2. Store scissors in a designated place (box or stand).
3. When using scissors, be as careful and disciplined as possible.
4. When passing the scissors, hold them with closed blades pointing away from you.
5. Scissors must be placed on the right side during work, with closed blades.
6. When cutting, the narrow blade of the scissors must be at the bottom.

In the Christian world there is an old tradition – to put a nativity scene in the house or decorate on the street on Christmas Eve. The nativity scene is a model of the Bethlehem cave with dolls inside. Someone buys it in a store, someone prefers to make it himself.
The Cave of the Nativity, or the Holy Nativity scene, is located under the pulpit of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The birthplace of the Savior is marked on the floor with a silver star and an inscription in Latin

“Jesus Christ was born here from the Virgin Mary.” In a semicircular niche, sixteen lamps are glowing behind a star. A little further away is the Aisle of the nursery – the place where the Virgin Mary laid Christ after birth. The manger-feeder for animals, which the Virgin used as a cradle, was taken out in the seventh century to Rome as a great shrine. And the niche where the manger stood was overlaid with marble.
Nativity scene – reproduction of the scene of the Nativity of Christ by means of various arts (sculpture, theater).

Scientists suggest that the first panoramas depicting the Cave of the Nativity appeared in the 13th century in Italy, and later became very popular throughout Europe.
Theatrical nativity scenes are known in Russia – short puppet shows with a Christmas story. To act out the performance, a special two- or three-story portable box-house was made, where the Christmas story was played out.

It is known that at the end of the 18th century in St. Petersburg a dynasty of vertepschikov was formed – the Kolosov family, who for almost a century kept the tradition of performing performances.
Nativity scenes flourished in the 19th century, when they became popular not only in central Russia, but also in Siberia. After the revolution of 1917, the Christmas nativity scene, along with the New Year Tree, were strictly banned as “religious agitation.” Only at the end of the 20th century did the restoration of the traditions of the nativity scene begin. Folklorist Viktor Novatsky carefully examined the crib boxes and restored the text of the performance. His version of the action is considered a model.


1. Cut off the lid of the cardboard box and turn it on its side.

2. With pieces of fabric we wrap the walls of the box and the base – the floor of the cave.

3. From the outside, we also cover the walls of the box with a fabric using a stapler or a needle and thread (the choice of tool depends on the thickness of the cardboard).

4. Makes a “hayloft” from a free cover, fastening the cardboard with tape.

5. We lay dry grass on the roof of the den (you can decorate with spruce needles and tinsel).

6. Carefully cut the rods with secateurs.

7. We lay the rods on the roof of the nativity scene, smearing them with glue.

8. With thin twigs we decorate the “entrance” of the cave; using a needle and thread, we fix the “poles” to the fabric.

9. You can make a manger out of twigs by folding the branches into a “well” and fastening them together with a thread.

10. We prepare a sheaf of hay from a bunch of grass, tying it in a knot and cutting off excess straws.
Christmas nativity scene is ready.

Figurines of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and animals can be made from paper, plasticine, salt dough.
Thank you for your attention.

On January 7th we will celebrate Christmas. How to
to touch the miracle of Christmas? On the eve of this holiday at the family table, tell the child the legend of the birth of Christ, and then offer to make a nativity scene with your own hands (from the Latin
manger”, “feeder for livestock”

There are no strictly established sizes of the nativity scene and the number of characters, but it must have a manger where the newborn Jesus lies, the figures of Joseph and the Virgin Mary, bent over the manger, sheep, an ox and a donkey. These characters were not just figurines-dolls (they were not played with) – they were symbols of Christmas.

Traditionally, they were made three-dimensional, from wood, fabric, or flat from cardboard, in one or more levels. The figures could move, depicting thematic scenes.

We will need a medium-sized box that can be covered with colored paper, preferably with a cloth. For the outside, choose dark blue, for the inside – red, for the floor – brown.

In the depths of the box we will place our heroes – a manger (a small box with dry grass or straw), on the right – Mary, on the left – Joseph, around the manger – animals, in the foreground – shepherds with staffs in their hands. We will place an angel next to or above under the roof. We blind the heroes from plasticine or salt dough.

The figurine of the Virgin Mary will be in a red dress, kneeling (smaller size) – in a green veil. The figurines of Joseph and the shepherds will be larger, we will give the shepherds a staff (from a stick, a tube of suitable thickness), and roll a tourniquet over the head over the cover.

A manger can be made not only from a box, but also from plasticine, a recess in the manger can be made with a finger phalanx. The figures of the Three Kings should be in bright clothes, and the harnesses on their heads are also bright, made of plasticine balls and “sausages”. Let’s make a lighter angel out of paper.

Nativity scene can also be made from a cardboard rectangle, which is folded so that the bottom is larger than the top. Round the upper part, glue a cardboard sky strip to it with hot glue or adhesive tape. The firmament should be dark blue, we will glue yellow stars on it.

The base for the character figures is a paper cone with a cut off top. For the head we use large wooden beads, we will also cut out the hands from cardboard. For the cover you will need pieces of fabric, for animals – sticks, threads, beads.

We will make a nativity scene from cardboard according to a template pattern. We will print the barn and heroes on a printer, stick it on thick paper and color it.

If a rectangle is glued to the base of each figurine, they can stand on their own.

If you find a color printer, the nativity scene will immediately turn out in color. It will only be necessary to cut out all the elements.

Another Christmas nativity scene can be made from felt, fleece, gingerbread, ready-made sets of figurines.

The “vytynanka” nativity scene will also be original – cut out of thick paper with a mock-up knife. Figures can also be embroidered and covered with a cardboard base or knitted using the amigurumi technique.

For lighting, we use a small light bulb or a Christmas tree garland, which we will turn on in the evenings.

It will be nice to get together by the light of the lights with the whole family together with the children and tell them about the Great Feast of Christmas!

Tatyana Turusova

MK « Nativity scene

On the eve of one of the greatest Christian holidays, there has always been a tradition to install a Nativity scene
– reproduction of scene of the Nativity
. Using Nativity Scene
you can acquaint children in kindergarten with the theme of the Nativity of Christ
, the bible and tell the story of the origin of the holiday. Therefore, on the eve of the holiday, it is the plot 9 that is relevant.0147 christmas composition
, made by hand from cardboard or thick paper.

Required materials

medium size box;

cardboard (you can cover from children’s albums)

pieces of cloth;

balls of white thread;

openwork braid;

double sided tape;


safety pins.

For making crib
compositions, the main thing is the figures of the main characters. They can be made from any material. But since this is our first experience of creating Christmas compositions
, then we took a simpler option – cardboard and fabric. Manufacturing
I will show
dolls using the example of making a magician

First we draw an even circle from cardboard (remember that its radius will determine the height of the cone)

Divide the circle into 4 parts by two perpendicular lines intersecting in the center of the figure. Then cut out one quarter
, we bring the adjacent areas together and glue them with an overlap or fasten them with a stapler. For the hands, draw a circle of smaller diameter and divide it in half. From the halves of the circle we make cones for the hands. The torso and arms of the sorcerer are obtained.

Now we drape the blanks with fabric (preferably bright colors, velvet is better, fixing them with double-sided tape and a stapler.

We fix the arms on the body with safety pins (or double-sided tape)

Then proceed to making the head
. We take a white ball (you can take small balls or, if there are not enough threads, you can make a ball from a newspaper and wrap it with white threads) and fix a piece of bright fabric on it with an openwork braid and a safety pin.

The next step is to attach the head to the body.