“Whenever I see girls and boys selling lanterns on the street, I remember the child in the manger as he sleeps. Wherever there are people giving gifts exchanging cards, I believe that Christmas is truly in our hearts.”
These are the first two lines from the song, “Christmas In Our Hearts” by Jose Mari Chan. When I was in kinder garden, our teachers would let us sing this complete with hand gestures. At a very young age, we’ve understood the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas is about love, peace, family and most specially the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Though it is impossible to determine the exact date of Christ’s birth, we still celebrate Christmas and our faith in Him remains strong. To remind us of the true meaning, the Nativity Scene is an essential display during the holiday season.
The Nativity Scene
Nativity scene, manger scene or crèche is a special display representing the scene of Jesus Christ’s birth. Before setting this up, consider the following:
Inspect – Check every figurine. Our display is an antique. We have been using it before I was born. Though I want to buy a new set, my grandmother told me that we can still use it. All are still in one piece. True. So figurines as old as this must be handled carefully.
Clean – When cleaning the figurines, use a soft cloth. Just make sure it is not too damp and carefully wipe every side.
Choose a spot – We used to have a manger, but it was the first one to fall apart. So we opted to place it on top of our piano. It is basically the safest place to be. It’s not too high and not too low.
Now, it’s time to place the figurines!
First is to find the center and place the child Jesus. Then position Mary and Joseph. Some display Mary near the child Jesus and Joseph a little bit far about an inch. But my grandmother positions Joseph on the left side and Mary on the right side (facing you). If you are happy with the look, then move on to the other characters.
On the left, place the three wise men or the three Kings. Carefully position Balthasar, Caspar and Melchior. Then add their camels on the side. Now for the right side, position the shepherds and the other animals.
If you placed your Nativity Scene on a table, you can add hay, moss or shredded paper. But if you placed it on top of the piano like we did, you can add a plant or vase. We added a vase with a plant near the wise men’s camels and an oil lamp near the shepherds.
Since we set the Nativity Scene on top of the piano, we could not add the flying angel. But our piano is positioned near the window and outside is where we place our Christmas lantern. At night, the lantern shines and lights the Nativity Scene.
Setting up the Nativity Scene is a great family bonding. You already have the visuals, so why not tell the kids the story of the Nativity. Have fun and Merry Christmas!
Here’s the a short video on, How to Set Up Your Nativity Scene: