Holy Family PVC Outdoor Nativity Scene

If you’re looking for an outdoor nativity set to display this year, this could quite possibly be the one for you. The basic set is in the same price range as the White Silhouette Nativity Scene I’ve talked about, but it is much more colorful and comes almost completely inclusive of everything you need.

There are a few things that I really like about these sets. Of course, they’re very pretty, as you can see. I probably wouldn’t write about them if they weren’t.

But beyond beauty, there is much more to like about them, such as how they came to be.

Twenty years ago, a California man who describes himself as a Christian and math teacher, started out by building his own nativity set out of plywood and paint. It was a hit with his neighbors, and soon they wanted their own as well.

Knowing that his plywood and paint versions wouldn’t last very long, and seeing that there was demand for his Nativity scenes, he started looking into how to produce a better product. Years have passed since that first Nativity set, and in that time, not only has he created and made available a very high quality and durable outdoor nativity scene for anyone to enjoy, but he has created his own part-time business out of his hobby and his Christian beliefs. He is still primarily a math teacher and intends to keep it that way.

The set itself has had quite a few improvements over the years to ensure that it will last in any of the many climates that we experience, including the brutal winters of the Mid-West. The pieces are cut out of ¼” PVC board which is very capable of handling the most extreme temperatures and won’t easily crack. The color is impregnated directly into the PVC board to eliminate peeling and resist fading caused by UV rays. The stakes for securing the pieces into the ground are also made of durable plastic, and will hold firm against heavy winds.

It’s very easy to set up and take down, though you will require a mallet to pound the stakes into the ground.


What’s included with the Holy Family Outdoor Nativity Scene?

The Basic Set includes:

  • Mary holding Jesus, standing about 24″ high.
  • Joseph, also 24″ high
  • The Manger, 23″ high
  • The Star of Bethlehem, 12″
  • The Stable – when assembled, is about 4′ – 4″ wide and with the star attached stands about 3′ tall
  • Floodlight fixture that stakes into the ground – bulb not included
  • Bag full of straw to place on the ground around the scene
  • Ships in a 2′ by 2′ by 5″ box that the entire set can easily pack back down into after it comes down.


The Full Set includes:

  • All pieces mentioned above, Plus:
  • The 3 Wisemen, tallest is 42″ tall
  • A Camel, 20″ tall and 34″ wide
  • A Donkey, 22″ tall
  • A Shepherd Boy, 32″ tall
  • Two Sheep, the taller being 12″ tall
  • A second spotlight fixture – bulb not included

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Basic Set:*


Full Set:*


Basic Set – Large Version:*

*Spotlight bulbs not included.

Mini Nativity Set by Jim Shore

This is easily one of the most stunning uses of color that I have ever seen in a nativity set. Jim Shore, a well-known folk artist, has created a few nativity sets to add to his massive collection of Christmas decorations, but this set is by far my favorite.

I find this set very striking not only for Jim’s use of vibrant and contrasting colors, but also the use of them in bold quilted patterns found throughout each piece. Bright blues, greens and lilacs are found on most pieces, and if not used in the quilted patterns themselves, they can be found in the many fine details found within the different scenes painted into each of the adult figurine’s dress. The use of color is really what ties this whole set together and brings it to life.

I find myself enamored by the style of the carving, particularly when it comes to the three wise men. They seem almost surreal with their big bottomed garments, short arms and round bearded heads with hats that look like spinning tops.

But my favorite detailing of this set is the pictorials painted onto the skirts of the larger figurines. Each of these tie into each other again by telling a smaller piece of the nativity story, from the Star of Bethlehem painted on one skirt, to the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, to the angels heralding Jesus’s birth.

This is one of the few sets available that begs to be studied at length by anyone who sees it in your home, due to Jim’s marvelous use of colors and incredibly well thought out detailing. I absolutely adore this set, and really believe that it would be perfect in almost every home. At the very least, it’s perfect for anyone who wants to add a splash of color under their Christmas Tree.


What’s included in this Mini Nativity Set by Jim Shore?

This is a 9 piece set that includes a wooden stable, Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph as well as the three wise men, the shepherd, a donkey and a sheep. The stable is 8 inches tall and 9 inches wide, and the figurines range in size from 1.5 inches to 4.5 inches tall. All figurines are ‘stone’ resin – which I can only imagine means ‘really, really hard’ resin.


See This Mini Nativity Set by Jim Shore at Amazon:

Jim Shore Heartwood Creek 9 Piece Mini Nativity Set
List Price: $150.00
Price: $129.99
You Save: $20.01
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Fontanini Holy Family Lighted Outdoor Nativity Set

I love to talk about Fontanini, so it’s only natural that I would be a little curious to learn more about a Fontanini Outdoor Nativity display. Fontanini has created some of the most collectable nativity sets, and while it doesn’t surprise me that they would try to make a move to create beautiful outdoor nativity scenes, I was honestly a little surprised to learn exactly what they made.

First of all, I really like the look of this set. The artwork that went into it is really quite nice, and is certainly what one might expect from Fontanini. Beyond that, I think it falls a bit short of Fontanini’s usual standards, but I suppose when it comes down to it, this is a very affordable option compared to the displays they could be coming up with.

With that in mind, a simple 2D representation of the Holy Family may be just what you’re looking for, and this could be your answer, though you may need to make a couple of considerations before picking this scene up for your yard.

The first thing I want to bring to your attention is that while this display does have sturdy metal frames, the artwork is screened onto a thin sheet of PVC. The problem with this is that while PVC is great for cold temperatures, it is easily punctured or torn. I suggest that this display be placed in an area sheltered from wind and snow drifts, and make sure that it is firmly secured by nailing it into the ground with its included pegs.

The next thing that you should consider is buying some soft flood lighting. The reason I suggest this is because that while the set claims to be lighted, those lights are not strong enough to show off the artwork where there is no additional or natural lighting and you will find yourself with a display of lights that will look entirely random and not like a nativity display at all.

However, with those two considerations in mind, this could be an absolutely lovely set for anyone looking to bring the meaning of Christmas to their yard.


What’s included with the Fontanini Holy Family Lighted Outdoor Nativity Set?

This is a pretty simple set, actually. It includes everything needed to easily set up 3 separate display pieces – Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus in the manger. The tallest display piece, Joseph, stands at 4 feet tall. The rust-proof metal frame supports the PVC screens as well as over 200 mini lights. Ground stakes are included to secure the display, and the lights are rated for outdoor use. Total shipping weight of this set is less than 13 lbs.


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Willow Tree Starter Nativity Set (6 Pieces)

The Willow Tree Nativity Starter Set is arguably one of the most beautiful nativity sets you can bring home for Christmas, especially when you consider its price. Not only does the artistic style appeal to many with its marvelous simplicity, but it also seems to cast an air of serenity all around it, allowing you to easily be taken up in the spirit of the holiday.

I actually find to be one of the loveliest Nativity sets out there, and with so many other Willow Tree Nativity Figurines available, it can very quickly turn into a yearly tradition to seek out the perfect addition to a growing collection. Other important nativity staples such as the stable are available individually, or included in larger starter sets.  This set is the simplest of the Willow Tree Nativity collection.

This starter set is not only great for your own home, but makes the perfect gift for a bridal shower, wedding, or a newlywed first Christmas as it will ensure the new couple remembers where it came from and hold a special place for them as they build their lives together.

This set comes highly recommended from many satisfied owners, with several of them telling that the artistry of the figurines has a much more refined feel than many of the popular sets available today.

Overall, I highly recommend this nativity starter set. It is as stunning as it is simple, and will be cherished for many years to come.


What’s Included in the Willow Tree Starter Nativity Set?

This is a 6 piece nativity set that comes with Joseph, Mary holding Baby Jesus as well as a donkey, the Shepherd and his small flock of two sheep.  All figurines are cast in resin, making them extremely durable.

The moldings they are each cast from are made from the original hand carved figurine created by Susan Lordi. Susan creates her nativity figurines using her strong artistic gift to capture the essences of family and friends posed as her models.  These are truly beautiful creations.

While it is durable, there is some concern of it being left in the reach of small children, as Joseph’s staff is not stable enough for play and can come off.  I don’t suggest you leave this set around where the curious fingers of small children can reach it.  If you are concerned about children handling them, consider giving them their own nativity set to play with.


See the Willow Tree Starter Nativity Set at Amazon:

Willow Tree Nativity Set
Price: $61.95
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Children’s Olive Wood Nativity Set

Olive Wood Nativity Set with Rustic Stable (Bark Roof)[/easyazon_link]Many grown adults remember playing with this timeless nativity set when they were children, and it’s not hard to understand why it remains a constant in the world of nativities.

Anyone who grew up with this set is still endeared by it to this day, often searching it out to bring home to their children in time for Christmas. And as adults, we can look into these sets and remember all those Christmases spent playing with the sets, admiring them. Giving your child this nativity means that you are passing that Christmas nostalgia on to them for life.

The Olive Wood Nativity Set has retained its legacy throughout time due to its simplicity and charm. The figurines are carved quite abstractly, which children seem to find appealing, but at the same time, it’s not designed by toy companies that make nativities that look like their year-round toy sets, such as the Little People Nativity Set.

This can be both a positive and a negative – the pieces aren’t as durable as plastic sets, but it is a welcome departure from the commercialized products we have become so accustomed to.  There are no bright colors and little plastic men masquerading as biblical figures here.  There also is no indulgence in detail that finer display sets have that turn children off, no matter how much we grown-ups might enjoy it.



What’s Included in the Olive Wood Nativity Set?

What you see is what you get – twelve beautiful figurines carved out of Olive Wood from Bethlehem. These figures include Baby Jesus and his manger, Mary and Joseph, the Shepard, the Three Wise Men and four animals including two sheep, a donkey and a cow, and the stable, if you were to choose that version. Nothing more, nothing less.

The figurines themselves are quite small – around 3 inches tall, but its size is perfect for kids.

If you choose to get the stable, you will find that it is equally as simple – the only decorations it has is the star and a tree.



See the Olive Wood Nativity Set at Amazon

With the stable:

Without the stable:

Playmobil Nativity Set

The Playmobil Nativity Set is a great nativity set for children over the age of four. It not only helps to teach about the Christmas Story, but it also is one of the few dedicated Christmas toys that promotes creativity and imagination.

It will sadly soon be a collector’s item too, as Playmobil retired this set in 2010.  This is a very popular play set, so if you happen to be looking for it, get it while you still can.

Children will spend hours with this set when it comes out each Christmas, and is another great set to get everyone in the Christmas spirit by spending an evening with the kids going through the story and setting it up. Children who have a play nativity set are much less likely to play with precious and often fragile display nativities.

This is one of the most complete nativity sets I have ever seen for children, and unlike similar sets, everything is included in one box with no need to buy portions separately.

And with anything made by Playmobil, this set is very durable which is perfect for children who might be a little rough on their toys. The ability to mix and match practically everything in the box keeps kids creative as they learn about the Christmas Story.


What does the Playmobil Nativity Set Include?

Made just for kids, this nativity set includes Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the Shepard, Angel and 3 wise men.  It also includes the stable and manger, a lamb, dog, donkey, cow and the camel that accompanied the wise men, complete with gift boxes, harness and saddle. All of the figurines are pose-able, and many of the human figurines come with accessories they can hold in their hands, such as a lamp for Joseph, and a star for the Angel.

It also includes a book of the Christmas Story, with illustrations depicting everyone in the nativity Playmobil style.


See the Playmobil Nativity Set at Amazon:

Playmobil 5719 Nativity Set
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Little People Nativity Set by Fisher Price

As many parents know, keeping little fingers off of delicate nativity sets can be a bit of a chore. The solution? Give those little fingers their own little nativity set to play with!

Designed specifically for toddlers, this interactive Little People Nativity Set from Fisher Price will keep your small children entertained and teach them about the Christmas Story with colorful and sturdy plastic pieces that are meant for rough play and won’t damage easily.

Besides helping children keep their fingers off your set, this is the perfect way for parents to teach their children about the nativity story in ways that they are more likely to understand, and to involve themselves in since these toys are much more attractive to little ones.  A great way to spend a family night together as Christmas approaches is to bring out this set and have them introduce each figure to the set as they come up in the Christmas Story.

This specific set was released a few years ago, and is hard to find in stores. It might be a good idea to purchase it soon before they go out of stock.


What does the Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set Include?

The Fisher Price Nativity Set includes a stable with room for Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, who is attached to his manger. There are also two walls with palm trees attached that can be connected to the stable and some other Little People sets, such as the Little People Three Wise Men Set.

Also included are the Angel who can sit on top of the stable, the three wise men, their camel, a cow, one sheep, a donkey pulling a cart full of fruit, and a donkey with out a cart. It really is a complete nativity set.


See The Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set at Amazon:

Fisher-Price Little People A Christmas Story
List Price: $33.99
Price: $33.99
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White Silhouette Style Outdoor Nativity Scene

Sometimes, simple and understated can create much more of an impact than many of the outdoor nativity scenes available today. This silhouette-style is a perfect example of how you can easily keep the true meaning of Christmas in your front yard with out bringing in a commercialized feel.

I love this nativity because it looks incredibly picturesque while remaining small and easy to set up. This nativity scene is constructed of a very durable PVC.  The half inch, white matte finish sheet doesn’t damage easily and never needs more than a wipe down to clean each season.

While you might need to add some additional support to keep it up in windier climates, it’s tough enough to withstand any other weather conditions that might be thrown at it.  PVC is strong, and will not be affected by rain or snow, and never peels, yellows or needs to be painted.

Add a spotlight and a timer, and your yard easily becomes a beautiful tribute to the birth of Jesus every evening, catching the eye of neighbors and passers-by as shadows create more drama behind it.


What’s included with the White Silhouette Style Outdoor Nativity Scene?

It comes in 8 pieces that stack neatly together for storage, but when fully assembled, measures in at 46″ wide, 22″ deep and 50″ high and weighs 19.5 lbs.  It only takes a few minutes to put together, too, and comes with detailed instructions if you need them – but you probably won’t.  The pieces all slide together in rather obvious ways, and while the pieces are big, they are light, keeping setup from becoming awkward.

And this outdoor nativity scene is just as easy to take down and store after Christmas is finished.  No tools are needed, and it will pack down to 29″ by 43″ by a shocking 2″ deep, making it one of the simplest outdoor nativities to store.


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Fontanini Centennial Lighted Nativity Set

Let this wonderful starter Fontanini nativity set charm its way under your Christmas tree this year.  The Centennial Nativity Set is a beautiful choice because of the way it was painted, especially the stable itself.  I absolutely adore how the walls were made to look like the plaster is wearing away, exposing richly colored rocks beneath. The roof was made to look like the wood has been damaged by time, and bits of hay are thrown about to make it appear as if someone is trying to protect the old building.

You’ll find that this starter set is richly designed to the smallest detail.  Each of its figurines seem to come alive due to the hand-painted process, which also lends a certain level of uniqueness to every item.

This is a great choice for families with small children as little hands won’t damage the solid resin construction of the figurines. And because it’s Fontanini, you can always expand on your original set because they are always introducing new figurines, buildings and other great accessories. One could easily create an entire Christmas village by adding in everything from the wisemen and their camels to the shepherds tending their flock to bakery complete with a baker.

What’s Included in the Fontanini Centennial Nativity Set?

This Fontanini Nativity starter set comes with the gorgeous stable, and six lovely 5″ figurines. The nativity figurines that come with the set are: Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, Gloria Angel, a donkey and ox.

The entire set is about 10″H x 14″W x 6.5″D, which means that it can be placed practically anywhere. I find it most convenient to put my nativity under the tree, but you could easily find other places for it, such as a display table or a fireplace mantle.  It also comes with a light and cord that can be removed when you need to store it after the holiday celebrations are done.


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