I collect nativity scenes, and my favorite one is made up of santons, little saints.
I display them in a box I collaged, on a mantelpiece.
In Provence, during the French revolution, churches were closed and people had to worship in secret and carry on their traditions as best they could. Large community nativity scenes were banned. Artists began to create tiny home creches which featured not only the traditional figures of the nativity- the Holy Family, the kings, and the shepherds- but also all of the characters and artisans of the provincial town, rich and poor: the mayor, the priest, the fisherman, the hunter, the cheesemaker and so on.
In every era, artists have imagined Christ's birth happening in their own time, among their own people.
Each little everyday saint is bringing a gift for the Christ child.
This lady is bringing lavender, which she just cut with her little scythe.
This lady seems to be knitting Baby Jesus an athletic sock.
Some families use their santons to create elaborate landscapes using mosses, rocks, and plants. I'd like to try that one day.
Here is a fisherman with a net standing next to my favorite saint, Saint Francis. Saint Francis created the first creche in 1223, to remind people that the son of God was born in poverty.
What would you bring the Christ Child? What would I?