Non-Traditional Nativity Scenes

by Anne Middleton, on December 18th, 2015

An interest in non-traditional nativity scenes has up ticked since a family in Ohio came under some legal scrutiny for putting up a zombie nativity scene in their front yard for the second year in a row. The family is known for their haunted houses and uses the ghoulish nativity scenes as a way to bond.   The nativity scene itself was thought up by St. Francis of Assisi some 800 years ago as a way to teach people the Christmas story.  If you’re feeling adventurous, here’s a few ideas of incorporating more modern elements into your family’s crèche.

First you’ll need to cast your nativity.  I like fast food meal toys, because they’re small and plastic.  Barbie dolls and Lego characters could work well too.  You’ll need Mary and Joseph, the baby and angel Gabriel, Three Kings, some shepherds and some live stock.   For those who like paper dolls, those might be a good choice too. 

Next, you’ll need to build the crèche, aka barn.   You have many choices here like Styrofoam and cardboard, but if you’re building your manger to last, invest in a Steel Replacement Fender from 4 Wheel Drive and mount it on a board.  You can keep it looking modern and industrial or affix some fake moss and give it a paint job.  Your choice!

Affix the star to the highest point of the barn.  I really like  the idea of using the CARQUEST by BWD Electrical Connector from Advance Auto Parts for this and painting the gray plastic part a shimmering gold or silver for the star.  With the thin, multi-colored cords, the star will look like a multi-color shooting star.   Another choice is using an emblem, like the Spyder Logo Hood Decal in White from 4 Wheel Parts.  Customize the decal with some glitter and mod podge or even fluorescent paint. 

Put the baby in the crib.  Small boxes are hard to come by, so if you’re building the crib for the baby Jesus, here’s a short cut.   Get an OES Genuine Rear Ash Tray from Auto Parts Warehouse for the crèche.  It’s small and square.  Now, it may seem a little uncouth to do that, but with a little artistic flair, it becomes reverent.  There’s a lot of paint jobs you can do to give the illusion of texture and make it appear more rustic and less like an ash tray.  Also, be sure to fill the crib with shredded paper or raffia. 

Whether reverential or tongue-in-cheek, building your own nativity can be a fun way to explore the tradition, instead of just spending money on an unremarkable nativity scene at a big box retail store.  If you can’t splurge on the Bergdorf Goodman table-top version featuring the blessed family painted in gold and draped in Swarovski crystals for a mere $3,400, you’ll sleep in heavenly peace knowing that you’ve saved some money using our codes for auto parts and all your holiday needs too.