In the midst of Christmas shopping, holiday parties, visiting Santa Claus, and playing in the snow, it can be easy to forget the true reason for the season. Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, and what better way to remember the spirit of Christmas than with a nativity set. Often including baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and others present for Jesus’ birth, nativity sets encourage us to look, pause, and remember why it is we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
Whether you want an intricate nativity set that includes animals, angels, and the three wise men, or a smaller set of just Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, there are plenty of nativity sets that will match your personal style. If you want to go big, you can try an outdoor nativity set, or if you want to teach your kids the story of Christmas, a children’s nativity set is a good option.
Below is our breakdown of the best Christmas nativity sets, listed in no particular order.
1. Three Kings Gifts Real Life Nativity Complete Set
This nativity set includes all of the people involved in the story of the birth of Jesus, is beautifully hand-painted, and has really intricate details. The set has 19 pieces, including Mary, Joseph, Jesus, shepherds, angels, three kings, a manger, and animals. One of the most unique things about this set is that includes real 23K gold, frankincense, and myrrh, so it’s truly a special and valuable set. The stable in the background lights up, which sets a nice backdrop and also makes it fun for kids to turn on every night. Each set also comes with an embossed display card that tells the story of Christmas, as well as a certificate of authenticity. This is an elegant nativity set that would look beautiful set on a mantle, shelf, or even as the centerpiece on a table.
2. Outdoor Nativity Store Outdoor Nativity Set
Share the reason for the season with neighbors and cars driving by with this outdoor nativity set. Made with fade-resistant PVC plastic, the set is designed to withstand all sorts of weather elements. All white, the silhouette style nativity set includes a manger with a star, as well as Joseph and Mary holding baby Jesus. The set includes stakes to keep it in the ground, and the entire thing can be broken down flat for easy storage. The set does not light up, so you want want to purchase a yard spotlight to be sure you can see the nativity set all through the night. There are three sizes to choose from (standard, life-size, and large), so you can choose what works best for you and your yard.
Price: $99.99 and up, depending on size
3. Collections Etc. Lighted Joy Nativity Scene
This nativity scene is unique in that the pieces are all attached and are set within the word “Joy.” All white, the nativity set has an ethereal look, and a soft blue light can be turned on to shine on the scene. This is also a musical nativity set, as it plays the song, “Joy to the World.” At nine inches long and about 7.75 inches tall, this set is a good size for a shelf, built-ins, or a mantle. If you like the idea of having your nativity set be one piece but still include all of the figures in the Christmas story, this is a good option. Plus, at less than $15, this is an affordable way to incorporate the story of Jesus’ birth into your Christmas decor.
Price: $14.99 (25 percent off MSRP)
4. Traspac Imports Miniature Kids Nativity Scene
Teach your children the Christmas story with this miniature nativity set. Made with 12 different figures, the set is easy to rearrange and play with. The set comes with a creche, and the rest of the figures can all fit within it, so it looks beautiful as a display as well. The creche is about six inches wide, three inches deep and four inches tall, and each of the figures is between one and one and a half inches tall. Due to the miniature size, the set is best suited for kids who are a little older and aren’t likely to put things in their mouth. To help tell the story of Jesus’ birth, you could also read The Christmas Story to your kids while they interact with the figurines.
5. Willow Tree Nativity Set by Susan Lordi
Carved and hand-painted by artist Susan Lordi, this six-piece nativity set is really beautiful and adds a personal touch to your Christmas decor. The set includes Joseph, a shepherd holding a lamb, three animals, and Mary holding baby Jesus, so it’s the perfect starter nativity set. Willow Tree offers multiple nativity pieces, including a creche, an angel, three wise men, and other animals, so you can add to your nativity set each year (all pieces can be found at the link below). You could also gift pieces of the nativity set to family members, and have everyone put the nativity set together to tell the story of Christmas.
6. Holy Land Market Olive Wood Nativity Set
If you like a more rustic look, this set is hand-carved from olive wood and doesn’t have any finishings or paint. Made by Holy Land Market, the set is actually made in Bethlehem from real olive wood, which adds to the story and authenticity of the set. The set includes 12 pieces, and you can choose between three, four, and five inches tall. Because they are made from wood, the pieces in the set are great for kids to play with, and they look nice on display as well.
Price: $26.67 and up, depending on size
7. Collections Etc. LED Flameless Nativity Candle Set
This nativity set is a little different, as the Christmas story scene is actually printed on three different flameless candles. The candle in the middle is seven inches tall and the candles on the side are five inches tall, so the set has some nice dimension and would look beautiful on a mantle, bookshelf, or end table. Ivory-colored and sitting on a wood base, the candles will match with pretty much any Christmas decor. The LED candles provide a pretty warm glow, and they are turned on and off with just a flip of a switch. Each candle requires two AA batteries, but they are not included (you can pick some up here). This set is great for someone who doesn’t want the individual pieces that come with a typical nativity set, but still want to represent the Christmas story in their decor.
8. Hawthorne Village Nativity Sculpture
Inspired by the art of Thomas Kinkade, this nativity set is an entire sculpture that includes the city of Bethlehem, the manger, animals, a large star, and more. Handpainted, the sculpture is extremely detailed and also includes a moving scene on the top of the figure. The set also plays four different Christmas songs: “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “The First Noel.” The creche, buildings, and star all light up, so it looks beautiful next to a tree or on a shelf. This nativity scene is great for someone who appreciates art and intricate details, and it would also make a special gift.
9. Lenox Nativity Set
Made of porcelain and accented with 24 carat gold, this elegant nativity set from Lenox deserves center stage on your mantle. The seven-piece set includes Joseph, Mary, Jesus, an angel, and the three wise men, and each figure is all white with holly and gold detailing. At four inches tall, the figures are on the small side so the set would also look nice on a smaller shelf or mixed in with other Christmas decor. Because it’s made of porcelain, this nativity set isn’t recommended for children to play with, and instead would make a beautiful display and a treasured gift.
10. Clever Creations Star Shaped Nativity Scene
After the birth of Jesus, a star appeared over Bethlehem, marking the location of Jesus. The three wise men followed the star, and delivered their gifts to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. This nativity set is framed within a star, so it not only looks beautiful and unique, but also has a double-meaning. Made with all wood, the nativity set is about 10.5 inches tall so it would look beautiful on a taller shelf or a tabletop. There is also a LED backlight that can be turned on with the flick of a switch, which provides a nice ambiance and showcases the scene in a soft glow. All one piece, the nativity set is easy to store year after year.