4 Dec 2012

Away In A Manger

Last weekend, I made the dreaded trip into the storage space (under the stairs, where head bumping and toe stubbing is mandatory) to haul out our Christmas decorations.  I decided this year to take it easy on the decorating.  Fin's little Inspector Gadget arms can reach almost every surface, so I was limited on where I could actually put things.  As much as I'd love to be one of those Moms who just teachers her child not to touch, it just isn't happening.  Fin is tactile - she HAS to touch things (it must come from her father). It's easier for me to just keep things out of her reach instead of stressing about her breaking things.

So, for that reason, we decided not to put a tree up this year.  There are no cute little ornaments and plants hanging out on the floor, no fake snow, and no presents lying around.  It's all about simple Christmas around our house this year. To be honest...I am kinda liking it.  I always get excited about putting the decorations out, but sort of get sick of them a couple weeks in and after a while I just want my house back.  Does anyone else feel like this?  Or maybe I am just being ba-humbug-ish?  Anyhow, there are some of my Christmas decorations that I just love to death, and they are the ones that made the cut this year and are on display.  I'll share the rest of the house with you in another post, but today I want to share one of my special collections.

I don't have many collections (although Mr. Swell may disagree).  I collect Starbucks mugs from around the world and nativity scenes....that's it (unless you want to count my eraser collection from when I was 8, that I still have squirrelled way in the basement.  I do have a lipstick, hamburger and hotdog eraser, so it WAS an awesome colletion).   My nativity scenes are so special to me, they each have special meaning.  I have bought some of them for myself on our travels, and others have been given as gifts.

This hand carved set was the one that started the collection. My Mom purchased it for me on a trip to Nova Scotia.  I am sure I am not supposed to play favourites  but this one is totally my #1.  It gets the place of honour every year.

This year it's on the credenza in the living room....as far back as it can go, which is about 1 inch out of Fin's grip.  She loves looking at it though and making animal sounds (currently she has cow and sheep mastered).  This set came in its own little wooden box and included the 'hay'.  Spilling that hay out every year makes me very excited. It's the small things in life, right?

Aren't the donkey's little leather ears too cute for words?

Next up is my coconut nativity scene that I bought in Hawaii a couple of Christmases ago.  It's super fragile and I end up having to hot glue some piece of it back on every year, but it still looks decent.

The little details that they managed to shove into a coconut shell is amazing.  I bet not many people can say they have a coconut nativity scene now can they?

The last one I have in the living room  this year is from Montreal.  Mr. Swell picked it up for me when he was there for work a few years ago.  It's from this cute little Christmas shop that is right beside Notre-Dame Basilica, which is amazing by the way - if you ever happen to be in Montreal be sure to check it out (it's where Celine Dion was married in case you are interested in random trivia like that).

The top comes off of the present and then it folds out into a nativity scene....and it plays music!  

Moving onto the kitchen....

I picked up this tin set while were in Mexico for our wedding 3 years ago.  The little flaps on the back fold up so that each piece lays totally flat, and they all fit into a tin box about the size of an Altoid tin.

I love how it looks with the cuckoo clock.  It adds to the cheeriness of the kitchen.

My other Mexican nativity scene is sitting on the window sill by the sink.

It's teeny tiny, and all hand painted.  So cute, right?  I bought this one in Huatulco while I was on a girls trip with one of my best friends.  I love buying Christmas stuff in the most un-Chistmas of places.  It's just such a juxtaposition that gives me a kick.  

To give you a bit of scale, here's the set next to our hand soap.

See all that snow?  Yup, we have a fair amount already. 

The last, and most recent one, is actually Fin's.  It was given to her as a gift when she was born, and I have it up in her room this year. 

It's from the snow babies collection, and I just love how fitting it is that she has her very own nativity scene made of babies. 

Whew....did you ever think you'd read the word nativity scene so many times in one post?  I didn't.  Want to see my Starbucks mug collection one day?  Then I'm all collectioned out. 

How about you?  Do you have any Christmas collections?  Any cool nativity scenes?

Linking to: nesting place


  1. I am with you on the wanting my house back after a couple of weeks. This year I kept things more low key than previous years in an attempt to hold off the "ok, am I the only one tired of looking at all the Christmas stuff?" thoughts. I always feel bad having those thoughts, because I'm the one counting the days until Decemeber 1st so I can start decorating. I think I found the happy medium this year.
    I love how you brought little touches of the season to your home. Those snowbabies are adorable!

  2. How delightful - thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Wow those are all pretty awesome! I don't have any collections like that but maybe I should start one! =] I really want to get a Christmas village too, I think those are just the cutest! I really like your coconut nativity scene - I grew up in Hawaii. =]

    1. You should totally start one! It's really fun when you are travelling to try and find parts of the collection...instead of just looking at the regular tourist stuff. I always wanted to collect snow globes...that might be a fun one to start!
      I am totally jealous that you grew up in Hawaii. Just last night Mr. Swell and I were trying to figure out how we could move there....we are so sick of the winters. I really want to just be able to hang out at the beach with our family after work! Too bad it's not that easy for Canadians to move to the US.

  4. i love your nativity sets they are all gorgeous!

  5. What a great collection of nativity scenes. I am particularly taken with the yellow boxed one. How cute! A nativity scene is high on my wish list. Now I have quite a bit of inspiration! Thanks for sharing, liz

  6. oh my gosh i love that mexican nativity by the sink!!!! i feel like i need one in my life.


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