Unique Nativity Sets – A History of Good



With Christmas coming next week, we at PinProsPlus wanted to talk about a tradition appreciated in many homes: the Unique Nativity Sets. Nativities come in many shapes, materials, and sizes, but all depict the same event, the birth of Jesus in the manger. Where, how, and when families set them up changes depending upon whom you ask, but for many it is a bonding experience that has created many fond memories. In honor that tradition, we’ll give you a taste of the history of nativity sets, how they’re doing good year round, and a sneak peek at our lapel pin nativity!


Unique nativity sets made of resin.

The History Unique Nativity Sets

Legend holds that St. Francis of Asisi was the creator of the nativity. Going by that belief, this tradition has been loved by many for about 800 years! Over this impressive stretch of time, these sets have undergone changes in material, tradition, and public appeal.

When St. Francis invented the nativity scene, he supposedly used living people and animals as the stand-ins for the Holy Family and the admirers. Since then the set has become more inanimate and able to be shared or passed down as a tradition. Other iterations include:

  • Plaster
  • Clay
  • Crochet
  • Wood
  • Ceramic
  • Resin
  • Plastic
  • Lapel Pins

Nativity sets occasionally receive negative responses. Puritans had believed that they were too much like religious statues and should be ignored for purer worship. Some secular leaders think they are too religious for public display and should be ignored for more encompassing decoration. However, throughout all of the opposition they’ve received, nativities are still a strong tradition today.

Why do many families love their nativity sets? Because they represent family custom. They come from all over the world and represent different cultures. Since each family has this different background, they have developed their own practices for setting up and displaying their decorations. Some families set it up at once while others wait and add the baby Jesus on Christmas Eve/Day. Others have the Magi traverse the room and only add them to the nativity on January 6th, when they arrived in the Biblical story. In the past, and even today, some families’ nativity sets would expand yearly. Every Christmas season they would purchase another figurine, be it a shepherd or camel or anything else.


A ceramic nativity.

Unique Nativity Sets for Charity

The Hyde Family from Utah have taken it upon themselves to bring some good through nativity sets. In 2005, they started with a simple project: wanting to teach their children the value of charity. They purchased a few nativities from artists in third world countries to help benefit them. What they didn’t realize was they were starting a non-profit business, let alone be celebrating their 10th anniversary this year!

The Hydes quickly learned that the poor with whom they work do not seek charity. They want to work for their pay. So the Hydes purchase nativity sets from Africa, Asia, and Latin America to help those struggling people. They bring the sets to the US and sell them to anyone interested at a modest markup. All further profits go straight to charity to help the artists and their societies even further.

Anyone interested can visit their site.


A nativity carved out of wood.

Lapel Pin Nativity Set

unique nativity setsNow it’s time for our little present to you. We at PinProsPlus haven’t seen a nativity made of lapel pins before. So we wanted to something a little different to honor this tradition. Since we are a leader in the promotional market, we thought we’d add our special touch. The set is still in production, but we’ve got the design we’d like to share with you.

If you are interested in Christmas pins or in a lapel pin nativity set for yourself or as a gift, we will be selling them. E-mail craig@pinprosplus.com for more information on our pins.

Do you have a favorite version or nativity tradition? If so, let us know!

From all of us at PinProsPlus, we hope you liked this blog and enjoy your holiday season!