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I really like my mom’s collection of nativity sets. They’re from all over the world and show a variety of takes on the day of Jesus’ birth.

Some of them are beautiful and some are cute, some are decorative and some are packed with significance, and one of them makes an overt political message. They’re all a unique way of sharing the opening chapter of the most important life ever lived.

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Carved and painted by my brother.

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Made this one in Cadets (boy scouts for the Christian Reformed Church).

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A nativity that doubles as an Advent calendar.

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One of my favorites. This is a nativity from Bethlehem and shows the wisemen unable to get to Mary, Joseph and Jesus because of the Separation Barrier that divides Israel and the West Bank.

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The three magi following the star. This one is from Puerto Rico.

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This one is from Luxor, Egypt.

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When I was a kid, I begged my mom to buy this one from a garage sale. I didn’t know she’d actually bought it until she surprised me with it later.

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A Puerto Rican take on the three wisemen.

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This one is from Belize.

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My mom’s very first nativity.

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This one belonged to my mom’s mom.

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Also from Puerto Rico. (They like the three kings there. They even have Three Kings Day.)

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