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.