I have become a collector of vintage paper mache nativities. This is due to two reasons: I like them, especially the dime store ones, and I am always in need of assorted nativity figures.
Nativities, I have found, sell pretty well on Etsy and on Craigslist. But it is getting harder to find an entire set intact.
So I pick up pieces here and there. A manger. A Mary. A king. A donkey. You get the idea.
I have learned, however, that these nativities aren’t one size fits all. In fact, there’s a whole bunch of different sizes, which makes that challenge of finding enough of one size a challenge.
So here’s my nativity story.
Last spring, I found a manger in the trash. (Yes, in the trash.) Knowing that I had all these odd nativity figures at home, I picked it up.
I did an inventory of my collection and I found a few figures that seemed a bit larger than usual and, I thought, perfect for the new nativity, which was also larger.
Last week, I found three larger kings at the thrift store. I didn’t know, but I hoped, that they would be in proportion to the other figures.
Well, I was off. How off?
The new kings tower over what I thought was the larger king (He's the one on the far right).
So I went back to the thrift store and picked up the giant Mary, Joseph and Jesus that had seemed too big just a few days ago.
Now everything matches. I just need a giant donkey or cow and maybe an angel. And eventually, I will find them because I know those off-size figures are out there.
But in the meantime, I was happy to find this much smaller nativity the other day, which has all of the figures glued down. It's nice to eliminate the guesswork sometimes.