top 20 worst nativity sets

NOTE: this post is the 2010 list. for the 2017 list (now with 77!), click here.

a few years back i posted a long series of bad nativity sets. last year i grouped them all into one post, but it was really just a list of links to those older posts — which was unfair to you all. so… this year, i’m grouping all 20 of them into one long post! merry christmas all, and enjoy or be horrified by this weird collection of nativity oddness.

the kitty cat nativity. makes me want to cough up a hairball.

the nativity kitchen timer:

the cowboy nativity. yee-ha!

yeah, the cat nativity is probably worse. but these dogs ain’t much better…

technically, not a nativity. but it’s a christmas lawn ornament, showing (can you believe it?) the flogging of jesus on the way to the cross. there’s some christmas cheer for your neighborhood!

also not technically a nativity; just a horribly cheesy christian kitschmas decoration: the jesus tree topper. dude, that robe is not working for you. and stop using that flat-iron on your hair.

back to actual nativity sets. this one is a craft kit, using marshmallows to make a nativity. yum.

not to be outdone by the marshmallow nativity craft kit i posted last, this s’mores nativity just might be the single worst nativity i’ve come across…

this isn’t a whole nativity set, but i think the other pieces are available. i didn’t have the strength to look. this mouse drummer boy is just about as confusing as a bit of kitchmas junk can get.

when searching for tasteless nativity sets online, it doesn’t take long for one to stumble onto multiple versions of bears…

this rubber duckie nativity has to be right up there in the “worst” section of cheesy nativity sets…

lotsa santa nativity sets and pieces out there, but this one is a bit disorienting. is the holy family IN santa’s bag? or does santa have an nice applique of the holy family on his bag of gifts? and, what can the letters in santa be re-arranged to spell?

if cats, dogs, and teddy bears weren’t enough, how ’bout penguins!?

sure. snowmen. shouldn’t be a surprise.

ah, the veggie nativity. i debated on this one, because i’ve always been a veggie fan. but the baby carrot pushed me over the edge into including it.

this nativity — well, i just don’t even know how to describe it. clowns? modern art? the baby jesus seriously looks like something out of a circus or a john waters movie.

oh, the animals. i suppose, while i think the dog nativity and cat nativity are somehow explainable as something people WAY too “into” those particular animals might display, this chicken nativity is just a bit beyond my comprehension as a purchasable — nay, displayable — holiday trinket.

you know those people who have those geese on their porch? yeah, them. and they put a cute little goosey costume on their porch-goose to mark every season? yeah, those people. this costume set is made for those people. or, to clarify, for those who actually have TWO of those geese already. sigh. i’m guessing the rubber ducky baby is “not supplied”.

what better expresses the spirit of the incarnation than owls? i found these at this cavalcade of nativities, where the comment was: whoooo is the son of god? whooooo?

ok, this has to stop. so, one last nativity. yes, i give you, the naked troll doll nativity. eesh. feh.

JUST POSTED: three more!

THIS JUST IN: yet another 3 worst nativities!

82 thoughts on “top 20 worst nativity sets”

  1. I’m disappointed that you chose to include the “cowboy nativity” as one of the worst. It’s created by poor artists in Charcato, Peru as a means of supporting their families. It’s characteristic of their culture. You may not like it but purchasing it does good.

  2. And for the record…Nativity means circumstances of birth. The wise men with the 3 gifts arrived during the circumstances of Jesus’ toddlerhood ! At the time they were living in a house & used these gifts to fund the trip to Egypt to flee the death squad.

  3. Very funny! Just so you know, I think the drummer mouse is probably connected to the book “The Little Drummer Mouse” written and illustrated by Mercer Mayer. It’s actually a beautiful book and my kids really enjoy reading it. That’s the only connection I can come up with, however the mouse in the book is better looking. . . .

  4. I would have to echo Alistair that the Veggie Tales one (which I proudly own) represents a Nativity play scene done by actors. I like to display it right next to my Peanuts “Nativity” which also represents the characters doing the Nativity play from my favorite Christmas special (preach it brother Linus). Other than that faux pas, great list. Thanks.

  5. With you on all the animal ones (though I think the dogs are worse than the cats, and the duckies worst of all) except for the teddy bears. Teddies are very real to a lot of kids (and adults) and might actually mean something for them. If they did it themselves. Which they probably aren’t.

    The meat is the wurst, though.

  6. Actually, some friends of mine made the last nativity. It is NOT supposed to be trolls but angels. The dolls were a series called Always Angels. I didn’t know they had a nativity though. I just recognized the logo. (My friends made dolls for some large companies and tried starting their own line; one of the ladies actually sewed and had her kids voice the angels—yes, they all talk. They are no longer making them.)

  7. Well, there are all the nativities of the lily-white Anglo people – those rank up there with the geese-and-rubber-ducky for me :) And how is it possible there’s no tomato in the Veggie Tales scene?

  8. @rusyoak — the meat nativity is in my follow up post (see link at the bottom of this post) with that and two other additions!

  9. As long-time Nativity collectors (we have nearly 800), my wife and I have seen many of these before, and while we trend towards traditional representations from different countries and cultures, we have purchased some whimsical sets (e.g. a Vegi-tales and a S’mores set) with the express purpose of engaging children in the story. They always attract attention and allow for discussion of what is represented and why the Nativity story is told in so many ways. “Worst” Nativities? Maybe that label lies with intention more than the medium or the figures portrayed.

  10. If the nativity had any significance in Islam, you would now have to get a personal security team and there would be riots in all the countries of origin of these various sets. We, however, can just laugh.

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