Nativity Scenes. Whose idea was that?

Nativity scenes have been part of Christmas for hundreds of years. Some of them are really cheesy. Marko has a list of the 20 worst nativity sets he has ever seen.


I took my family on an adventure to seek out the original source of the nativity scene. Our pilgrimage took us to a small but famous town on top of a hill in Italy, where a young guy with a strange hairdo started a movement that shook the world.

Where were we?

We were in Assisi where Francis grew up to become St Francis of Assisi. This town is also associated with the nativity scene or creche. However, it was the town of Grecio that St Francis allegedly set up the first Nativity scene in 1223.

“Then he prepared a manger, and brought hay, and an ox and an ass to the place appointed. The brethren were summoned, the people ran together, the forest resounded with their voices, and that venerable night was made glorious by many and brilliant lights and sonorous psalms of praise. The man of God [St. Francis] stood before the manger, full of devotion and piety, bathed in tears and radiant with joy; the Holy Gospel was chanted by Francis, the Levite of Christ. Then he preached to the people around the nativity of the poor King” Source


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • brambonius says:

    Poor Francis didn’t foresee what monster he was creating in bringing the christmas story closer to the people..

  • Ever since I was a child, I’ve always loved getting the nativity scenes out and setting them up around the house. It has always been my favorite part of decorating for the holiday. And I almost died laughing looking at that list of the 20 worst nativity sets…but is it weird that I kind of wanted some of them? Haha!

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