Wednesday, December 8

La Creche Provencale - Provence style nativity

When I moved to the US, my mom made sure I would bring a piece of home with me. In Provence, the traditional nativity set are made out of baked red clay. Each piece is molded, dried, baked and handpainted in vibrant colors. The santons (literally little Saints) include, in addition to the Holy Family, an ox and a donkey, the 3 Wisemen and the villagers. Among the most popular villager figures, the shepherd and his sheeps, the baker, the miller, the fisherman and the Ravi (the village's simpleton) . They come in several sizes, from Puce - barely one inch tall - to 12 inches for the dressed ones that have real clothing and all sorts of accessories made of wood, wicker and metals.

 I didn't have much room or weight allowance left so my mom got the most compact nativity possible, the Puce size. Baby Jesus is smaller than my daughter's pinky finger. The whole set - including the barn-  fits in a 6x6 inch box

I am still missing a couple of key characters but every so often my mom sends me something to add to my tiny Creche.


  1. Caroline, your set is so beautiful and made even more so by hearing the story that goes along with it. You must have a very sweet mama. I hope that you continue to add to your set! Merry Christmas to you! jules

  2. tes sentons me rappelle mon enfance, a chaque fois que nous visitions la provence, j'avais le droit a 1 ou 2, mes preferres: le moulin, le meunier et son ane.
    Ta creche est tres belle.

  3. what a wonderful story! would you mind linking this up to my christmas linky party?
    i'm assuming your french? where from? i live in a countryside suburb of paris. my husband is french and i am american. we've been here for 5 years now.

  4. Thanks for linking up! Have a wonderful Christmas! xo, Maria

  5. i'm here via the nativity parade. love the nativity and santons.
    pax Christi - lena


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