Nativity Scene Display Ideas

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There’s something truly special about nativity scene displays this time of year. Here are over 20 ideas for bringing this essence of Christmas to life in your home.

Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus ceramic figurinePin

Amidst all of the other holiday decor that fills our homes with warmth and joy, nothing captures the true meaning of Christmas quite like a nativity scene.

Displaying a nativity scene in your home is a timeless tradition that commemorates the birth of Jesus and serves to keep the real reason that we celebrate Christmas at the forefront of our minds.

People can get really creative and go to great lengths with their displays. Some reimagine the classic scene by crafting intricate backdrops. Others display their nativities very simply.

simple nativity scene on a gray chest with other accessoriesPin

No matter how it’s displayed, the beauty lies in how individuals blend tradition with their own imagination.

In this blog post, I’ve rounded up a variety of creative and inspiring ideas to inspire you when setting up your own meaningful display.

Traditional Tabletop Nativity Display

Placing a traditionally styled nativity scene on a sideboard or small chest is an elegant, classic choice.

traditional style nativity scene on a chest with a mirror hanging abovePin

Peacockridge Farm

Many use a stable or manger as a centerpiece, surrounding it with figurines representing Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the shepherds, angels, and the Wise Men.

nativity scene on sideboard with artwork hanging on wall abovePin

Source Unknown

The figures in the truly traditional style nativity sets are painted various colors, instead of being all white or neutral colors.

But in newer sets, the figures are often all one color or all neutral colors, with the figures still being traditional in style.

neutral colored nativity scene display on a sideboard with a mirror hanging abovePin

Worthing Court

sideboard with lamps and a neutral nativity scene display with a gilted gold mirror hanging abovePin

Our Southern Home

The color of the figurines in this traditional style nativity display is stunning against the backdrop of a dark wall.

gold nativity scene in a creche against a wall painted dark grayPin

Instagram – @michaelaram

large indoor nativity set displayed on a white sideboardPin

Stone Gable

Incorporating Natural Elements

To give a more natural, authentic look to a nativity display, natural elements like moss, hay, or rocks are often added to the scene.

nativity display scene on a table surrounded with faux greeneryPin

Instagram – @cowhideandcakeplates

Adding twinkling lights or candles adds to the ambiance and provides a special reference to the star of Bethlehem.

nativity scene display on a table in front of a windowPin

In Honor Of Design

Displays In Lanterns & Cloches

Placing a nativity in a lantern or under a cloche is a great way to add visual weight to a small-scale set.

natural colored nativity set displayed in an open lanternPin

Instagram – @kira_turner

nativity set under a glass cloche on a cake standPin

Edith and Evelyn

Nativities In Dioramas

Creating a scene within a box or a frame adds depth and dimension to a nativity display. It works especially well when you don’t have a creche.

nativity scene figurines displayed in tiered wood boxesPin

The Cozy Old Farmhouse

A box can add importance and visual weight to a more compact set of figurines.

nativity scene display with silver figurines in a wood box surrounded by faux greeneryPin

Refresh Living

Unique Nativity Displays

Displaying a nativity set in a unique way will allow you to infuse your personal creativity.

Out-of-the-box types of displays are a fun way to showcase collections.

vintage nativity set displayed on and around vintage round wood cheese boxesPin

Instagram – @myweatheredhome

Unconventional displays often prompt discussion about the symbolism and meaning behind each element of the nativity.

Additionally, showcasing a nativity set uniquely can simply bring joy and excitement during the holiday season, adding a touch of wonder to the home’s décor.

small nativity scene on a shelf in a bookcase with colorful accessoriesPin

Dimples And Tangles

Oftentimes, nativities are overlooked amongst all of the other decorations, but a unique display will draw the eye and create conversation.

white nativity set displayed on a bright green chestPin

Instagram – @emilyaclark

Warm & Intimate Nativities

Nativity displays that exude a cozy, intimate charm go hand-in-hand with what Christmas is really all about.

nativity set in a creche on shelves filled with platesPin

Our Crafty Mom

Not only does a display such as this create a cozy Christmas vibe – but it also conveys a sense of personal connection to the true meaning of Christmas.

small nativity scene in a large hutch filled with white stoneware and dishesPin


This nativity scene display is simply charming located beneath the wall art.

console table decorated for Christmas with nativity scene display and other neutral Christmas decorationsPin

Instagram – @simplyinspireddesignco

The uniqueness of this display is the simplicity of it.

white nativity set on a brown chest with a lite Christmas tree in the backgroundPin

Instagram – @simplee.amy

In the heart of every home, the nativity scene stands as a timeless emblem of Christmas.

Whether nestled in a lantern, set against a backdrop of nature, or reimagined in a unique way, the nativity scene speaks to the essence of the season—reminding us of God’s great love for each one of us.

So, as you craft your own nativity display, may it not only beautify your home but also serve as a beacon of the true spirit of Christmas, bringing joy, contemplation, and a touch of magic to this special time of year.

nativity scene display ideas Pinterest graphicPin

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  1. My ceramic nativity stays in my kitchen china cabinet year round. They figures are small and I painted them to look like stone ( I was very young). My late mother-in-law’s white nativity is displayed during the holiday season in the family room. I add angels according to where it is that year. My mother’s Santa collection and mine come out too. This year I filled my dough bowl with apples and nutcrackers. I love to display my holiday decorations. One of these days I need to think about downsizing -just not yet. My middle daughter shares my love of the holiday decorating. I follow your blog and have for several years.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing with me. It all sounds just wonderful. I’m with you with it comes to downsizing – I’m just not ready yet. Merry and blessed Christmas!

  2. Deborah Scott says:

    Thank you very much for encouraging the use of nativities in our Christmas decor. Your examples are beautiful, and I love the different ideas of ways to display them. The trees and garlands get so much attention that we can forget the importance of remembering that we’re celebrating Jesus’ birth.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed seeing all of the different ideas! You are so, so right – Jesus’ birth just does get lost in all of the hustle and bustle.

  3. Kathy Hill says:

    I just love your naivety set. would you share where you bought it?

    1. Are you asking about the nativity in the very first image in the post? If so, it’s Fitz and Floyd and can be ordered from their site.

  4. THANK YOU FOR THIS FABULOUS POST FEATURING NATIVITY SCENES! The faith-based focus was refreshing during this final blitz before Christmas of busy doing, decorating, cooking, commercial, secular environment. I needed this re-direction that made my heart soar. The nativity images were a beautiful prayer. I am blessed.

    1. That’s wonderful to hear. I purposely waited until closer to Christmas to publish this post hoping it would help to refocus our attention. 🙂

  5. Linda Hickey says:

    Loved each one of your nativity scenes. Each one so creative and unique. Thank you for sharing all the different ideas.

    1. There were so many great ideas. Hope you found some inspiration!