Below is a view of the whole scene. Disregard the mess that remains on the dining room table. This years scene is not as grand as last year's. And had to be baby proof and we will admit to a moment of feeling disconsolate about the whole endeavor, but we persevered! And here is the finished product...not too shabby :)
Starting from the left we the non-desert desert LOL...usually we make this totally desert, but we had smaller space and so now our desert is more of an oasis...complete with basket shop, wise men, and palm trees.
Here is our poultry shop.....we always assume/pretend/make-believe the owner of the poultry shop also owns the stable. Notice our signature waterfall....what is a nativty scene without a waterfall?!
Here is the stable. It is quite empty at the moment since Jane from Building the Ark gave us the idea to start Joseph and Mary off in the distance since they were travelling into Bethlehem...they will arrive to the stable on Christmas Eve.
BTW notice on the foot bridge the appearance of our two Bethlehemian turtles :)
Below is the pottery shop (ancient Pottery Barn?), the synagogue and the Roman soldiers announcing the census.
And at the end we have the rug shop and the kitchen.
Just a little peek over here...there is Joseph and Mary, starting out on their long journey.
And last but not least our very own little cherub.
Putting up the nativity has become part of our domestic liturgy. After we finshed setting it up, we then blessed the nativity using shortened versions of prayers from Helen McLoughlin's Family Advent Customs. You can find them here: http://www.stmichaelonline.org/LiturgicalYear/Christmastide.htm
There are other blessings out there for nativities and Advent wreaths but we like the older "thee and thou" language.