owning up to the oestreicher family nativities

i have to admit, even though i mocked all those nativities on my blog, i’ve slowly grown fond of many of them. i still get a scratchy feeling in my throat when i look at the cat nativity. and the hummel-like little kids freak me out a bit. but some of the latter additions just make me smile. yes, some of it is laughter. but it’s more than that.

anyhow, the other day i was thinking about this, and realized that for all my snarkiness, we have a fairly high number of wide-ranging nativities in our own home every christmas. time to come out of the closet and show them all to you:

this quilted nativity advent calendar has been a favorite of my kids (now 14 and 17) for years. every morning, they take turns moving the character of the day up to the scene.

technically not a nativity, this is the only one of the bunch that stays out year ’round. i’m qualifying it as a nativity, since, while it’s a group of saints, it includes mary with jesus, and joseph. it’s also the most expensive of our nativities. i bought these hand-painted stacking dolls in prague.

this one requires a little explanation. for years, my sisters’ kids and my kids put on a nativity story play as a part of our family christmas at my parents house. the roles changed from year to year, as did the dialogue (sometimes straight out of scripture; other times scripted in other ways). as a christmas gift to my parents one year, we took photos of the kids in their costumes, and took them to one of those places that makes die-cut stands out of photos. we bought an empty creche, and gave my parents the set. as you can imagine, it’s a fairly treasured family thing. we loved it so much, my sisters and i each got one for our own homes also.

little liesl was the sheep that year…

and max, who was only one month old, expertly played the part of baby jesus…

this one qualifies as our oddest (well, until the gift from adam, below). it was a gift from my parents years ago. i call it the siamese holy family. if you look close, you’ll see that joe and mary have one body from the waist down, but split into two above the waist. i bet that made childbirth extremely awkward.

anyone who has been to bethlehem has seen version of this nativity at every roadside tourist stand. but i love this one, mostly because i bought it there.

my kids each have this set, given by my parents years ago. this one sits on the back of the toilet in their bathroom (christmas invades every room in our house)!

adorning a wall in our living room each year are copies of two christmas cards we made years ago, each with a nativity drawn by one of my kids. the first was liesl’s creation, and the second was drawn by max.

and, finally, our newest addition… my partner in the youth cartel, adam mclane, gave me this zombie nativity set as an early christmas gift a few days ago, in honor of the blitzkrieg we both experienced trying to keep my blog alive during the onslaught of almost 400,000 visitors. he bought it from the etsy craftswoman whose zombie nativity i’d highlighted in that memorable blog post.

yup. emmanuel. god with us. maybe the single most amazing and creative reality in all of history.

2 thoughts on “owning up to the oestreicher family nativities”

  1. I realized after this years posting that my wife got the duck nativity and it sits proudly in our daughters’ bathroom.

  2. Glad you owned up to your own love of nativity sets. It was fun to see the ones you have in your home, which we never see at Christmas.

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