Nativity guide

Nativity scenes: How to find the perfect nativity scene

The choice of a nativity scene is not easy, also because the range is very extensive and each nativity has characteristics that make it unique: from the style to the execution, from the type of colors to the number of the nativity figures. That's why we've collected some tips that will help you choose the best nativity scene for you and your family.


When choosing a nativity scene you should pay attention to the following features: 1. Your favorite style: classic, modern, rustic or oriental 2. The wood type: maple, lime or stone pine 3. The execution (or variant): natural, stained, antique or color 4. The size of the nativity figures 5. The size of the stable 6. Animals and accessories 7. How to start building the nativity scene 8. How to set up the nativity figures


1. The style, a matter of taste

The first feature that draws the attention of the observer of the nativity scenes - in the woodcarving shop as well as in the online shop - is certainly the style of the nativity figures. How do you prefer the figures? Very simple and modern? Classic and with many details? Dressed in cloth clothes? Or maybe in an original and unique style, almost playful? In our wide range of wooden carved nativity scenes you will find the following styles to choose from:


Modern style: very simple and basic. The statues do not show much detail - on the contrary. Shepherds and animals are plain. The modern style is a young style that is usually suitable for modern apartments and young families, but not only! For example, discover the Modern Art Nativity scene or the Artis Nativity.


Classic Style: As the word itself says, it is a classic, timeless style, suitable for any environments and interiors. The nativity figures have round shapes and elaborate details, the wavy clothes convey the idea that the figures are moving. Classic nativity scenes are for example the Insam Nativity and the Ulrich Nativity scene.


Oriental style: This style is usually very simple and plain. The main features of this style are elements such as the clothing of the characters, their turbans and accessories, reminiscent of the Eastern culture. The oriental style of the nativity figures is also highlighted by the architecture of the Stable, which often has high walls, expansive landscapes, columns, arches and palm trees. For example, discover the Oriental Crib and the Rowi Nativity.


Rustic or rural style: this style is reminiscent of the farmers of the Alpine regions. The crib figures wear aprons, traditional Tyrolean clothes and hats. The stables look like the typical cow sheds made of stone and wood walls, as we know them throughout the Alps. Discover, for example, the Alps Nativity and the Shepherd Nativity.


In addition to these popular styles, we also offer exceptional Christmas Nativities made with unique features and materials. These are designed for those clients who want to set up and rediscover an original crib every year, such as Kastlunger Nativity and Immanuel Nativity.
Royal Nativity

2. The type of wood

The most common wood used for the traditional woodcarvings like statues and nativity figures, is maple wood: a light and relatively soft wood that can be worked well with the chisels. The lime wood, also called linden wood, differs from the maple wood in its lightness and hardness, it is very well suited for precision work. Who wants to have a very special wood, which also smells good, can choose a nativity set carved in pine wood. These cribs are normally left in their natural variant, so that the characteristics of the wood, its color, its texture and, last but not least, its exceptional fragrance, come out best.


3. The versions of the woodcarved figures

Many nativity figures, as well as other woodcarved statues, are produced in different versions. The figures, which are not treated with paint or wax, remain in their natural version. In this version you can perfectly recognize the characteristics of the wood in which the figures are carved. The stained and stained 3 colors versions offer a monochrome or tricolor treatment with wax. This figures show up very natural shades and they look very interesting. The antique design shows a special treatment of the figures, which makes them look antique. The colored version of the wooden figures is the most popular version, because the figures have realistic expressions and many details of faces and clothing as well as the animals and accessories are perfectly recognizable. The colors that are most commonly used to paint wooden statues are the oil paints, which look stronger and more succinct. Occasionally, watercolor paints are also used: they are light and delicate. Do not forget that nativity figures and all other wooden carved statues are completely hand-painted - a fact that makes every figure unique!
Artis Nativity stained 3 colors


4. The size of the nativity figures

A very important decision is the size of the figurines. In our shop you will find nativity figures from 5 cm to 40 cm tall, although the dimensions always refer to the figure of Joseph. Joseph is the "starting figure", the other figures of the same series are carved in relation to Joseph. For example, consider a 10 cm crib that contains children, kneeling shepherds, or animals that are actually lower than Joseph, but proportional to him, who actually measures 10 cm instead. Therefore, if you choose a 10 cm nativity scene, you must also choose the 10 cm Jesus child, although in reality it will be much smaller. The specified size refers to the entire nativity set, not to the individual characters. But what is the appropriate size of Nativity scene for you? After all, this choice depends on the available space. If you have only a small corner for the nativity scene, you should choose smaller figures, for example 7 - 9 cm; if you have a lot of space, you can choose larger figures or set up more nativity figures.


5. The size of the stable

Even the stables are available in different sizes, but they are always intended in relation to the nativity figures. In short, if you have nativity figures in the size of 10 cm, you should choose a stable in the size 10 cm, as this fits in the correct proportion to the figures.


6. Animals and accessories

Some cribs are particularly rich in animals and accessories. The most common animals are the sheep that accompany the shepherds on their journey, but some cribs also offer elephants, camels and small animals such as chickens, cats, goats and so on. The same applies to the accessories: some cribs are particularly rich in accessories, especially the classic cribs. Consider these two elements when choosing a nativity scene! Would you like a very simple crib that is very essential? Or would you like to bring along many animals and additional elements?
Scholer Nativity


7. How do I start building the nativity scene?

Now that you have clear ideas about the style you are looking for, the wood of your choice and your favorite execution, as well as the available space, you can start building your woodcarved nativity scene made in Val Gardena! In our woodcarving shop in Santa Cristina in Val Gardena as well as in our online shop, you have the opportunity to buy individual figures or nativity sets. This means that it is not necessary to buy a complete nativity scene, which in some cases can mean several dozen figures. For example, you could start with the main characters and then decide each year whether and in what form the nativity should grow and with what additional figures. At the beginning, normally one chooses to start with the Holy Family with Joseph, Mary and the Infant Jesus (with or without cradle). Many people add the stable, the ox and the donkey at once, but that's a free decision. If you decide to buy a stable right at the beginning, we recommend that you take one that will allow you to add more figures in the future - if of course you have the space you need. As announced above, we also have several nativity sets, consisting of 5, 10 or more figures. In this way you do not have to select each figure individually, but choose the set arranged by us. From year to year you will have the opportunity to buy more nativity figurines since our cribs never go out of production. On the contrary, they are often enriched with novelties, which makes the expansion of the nativity scene every year exciting.


8. How do you set up the crib figures?

If you look at the pictures of the nativities in our online shop, you will see that many cribs have a similar arrangement of the figures. For each main character, a certain place is provided and the body position of each figure is designed so that the observer can see the it the best.


Now all you have to do is choose your favorite crib and embark on this extraordinary journey that will take you through the Christmas time with passion and give you the joy of a high quality handmade product.