Christmas Night Blog Nativity Sets, Outdoor Christmas Displays
and Fontanini Creche Figures

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SCOTT WHIPPLE: A SAINT WHO PAINTS

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

 

Baptism by fire

Historic St. Anne’s Church in Waterbury, CT. suffered two fires in the 1970s. Gorgeous stained glass windows were lost. Smoke damage was extensive. Spectacular, colorful life-sized statues were beyond recognition.

The devastation continued when the church learned that insurance money would cover only a fraction of the costs. Enter Scott Whipple: local artist, painter, builder, restorer and philanthropist.

“I was overwhelmed… intimidated,” he said, at the thought of restoring any of St. Anne’s life-sized statues. Scott had never worked on anything so large.

But he jumped right in, starting with a smaller statue of St. Francis of Assisi and working his way up. Baptism by fire.

Everyone – clergy and parishioners – loved his work so he kept on going.

His favorite part about the process? Giving people back their cherished memories of church, one statue at a time. Despite his immense talent, Scott remains humble. “I’m still learning all the tricks of restoration. I’m learning as I go.”

 

“Nothing I could fix”

Fast-forward a few years and a few miles to his current project: The Blessed Sacrament Parish, also in Waterbury, CT.

His focus: the church’s Christmas scene.

“I had heard that nativity set that they set up every year was really tiny with mismatched pieces,” he says. He knew he couldn’t fix the figures with his own two hands it so he took a different route with his generosity.

Scott chipped in for a brand new nativity scene. After researching online he chose the 11-piece, 27-inch Joseph Studio set from ChristmasNight Inc. The collection was more than a pleasant surprise. He described its arrival “as one of those rare instances when you take something out of the box and say, ‘It’s even better than the photograph!’”

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He then bought lumber and began building a manger. With a handyman’s skill he set up interior lighting. Wanting the beautiful display to be eye-level, he restored an old altar table from St. Anne’s so the figures could sit on the table itself rather than on the floor.

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The idea is that people won’t simply look at the scene of the birth of Christ, but rather step right into it. The viewers will actually stand under the stable’s roof.

“You become part of it,” Scott says.

Hard to think of a better way of celebrating Christmas than by becoming part of it.

 

Lights, Camel, Action!

See photos of Scott’s work below…

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OUR CREATIVE PROCESS

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
We design and build special crates with solid floors for Christmas Night's four legged animals

We design and build special crates with solid floors for Christmas Night’s four legged animals

PhilippineFactory-web

Finished Toy Soldiers line up ready to board the boat for USA

GiraffeModel-web

Working on model for Giant Giraffe

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King Gaspar waiting outside the factory

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Alain and Robert finishing models for Christmas Night’s 6 foot Giant nativity Set

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Making last minute changes to the paint colors before photography of the new 6 foot Nativity Set

From time to time we will share with you the process that we use to create our new and, in many cases, unique, decorative and religious figures. They all start in the mind , eyes and hands of Claire our very talented designer. The resulting images and dimensions are communicated to our factories electronically as is progress on each project. We also visit the factories at least twice a year to tweak and approve the designs. We also constantly work on improving our packaging so the product is delivered to you in perfect condition.

We have some pictures which will illustrate some example. Please note, we will not be offering the giraffe statue.

How to Make Your Nativity Scene Appear Larger-Than-Life

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

For many people, Christmas just isn’t the same without a charming Nativity scene. Life size Nativity sets can brighten up any front lawn. They also remind us of what Christmas is truly about—commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Nativity scene is intended to remind us of the manger in which Christ was born. It typically includes a wooden stable, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, three kings, the shepherds and their animals and an angel. Nativity scenes are to be reminiscent of the miracle that took place a long time ago in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born and laid in a manger on Christmas day.

Mary watches her child

Made of the most durable fiberglass, outdoor Nativity scenes are a special way to share holiday joy with family, friends and neighbors. So, regardless of which set you choose, don’t be surprised if your lawn becomes the neighborhood sensation. After all, who isn’t fascinated by the story of Christmas reproduced in life size figurines?

Here are four tips for making your Nativity scene appear larger-than-life:

  1. All about location – Making your nativity scene appear larger than normal depends a lot on the location. Find an area that best fits all of your characters without squishing them too closely together. Begin by placing the stable in the middle with the characters scattered equally around it. Next, consider your surroundings. Place your Nativity scene around one lone tree or as beautiful runway leading to your front door.
  2. Proper lighting – When selecting the lighting for your nativity scene try to use large flashlights with square handles—they are easier to work with. Place the lights so that baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph are the focus of the scene. For a more dramatic look, use an outdoor floodlight or spotlight to illuminate the display more profoundly. This will help to expand the radius of your Nativity scene.
  3. Embellish the scenery – Give your Nativity set life by placing real poinsettias or potted winter plants around the stable and characters. For a more natural look, include pinecones and hay as décor. To create a divine appearance, place the angel on a crate or oversized box draped in fabric. The extra height will give the Nativity scene an embellished appearance.
  4. Add a touch of nostalgia – For a whimsical touch, hang strands of twinkle lights at the back of the display. This lighting affect will emphasize the scene’s overall beauty, giving it a magical ambience. You can also place another square handled flashlight below baby Jesus to illuminate his crib, emphasizing the miracle of Christmas.

Nativity scene waits for baby Jesus, Lima, Peru

Outdoor Nativity sets make great lawn arrangements for the holiday season. They help to better illustrate the story of the night that Jesus came to earth in order to create an eternal life for all mankind. By following these simple tips, your Nativity scene will not only be larger-than-life, but also the best decoration in the whole neighborhood.

An Updated Version of The Santa Sleigh and Reindeer Story

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Originally Santa’s Sleigh had eight reindeer – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.  This was according to the 1823 poem by Clement C. Moore “a Visit from St. Nicholas” or “The Night before Christmas”.  Then Rudolph (the red-nosed reindeer) was added.  Rudolph comes from a story originally written by Robert L. May about a foggy Christmas Eve, when Santa lost his way and Rudolph helped find the way with his red lighted nose.

Here is our own version of a modern Santa, Sleigh and Reindeer Story:

There are so many good Children around the world today, that there is no way Santa and his nine Reindeer can reach them all on Christmas eve. So Santa Claus sent the elves to university to learn how to build aircraft. When the elves returned to the North Pole the first thing they did was build an amazing aircraft factory beside the Toy Factory. Here they developed a huge hypersonic jet, which they called Santajet X-12-25 which flies faster than the speed of sound. This jet can hold 500 reindeer, 55 Sleighs and Santas. And there’s provision for a extra deck in case there are more good children in further years who will want Santa to deliver them gifts on Christmas Eve.

While the elves were building the Santajet X-12-25, Santa travelled around the world interviewing men to become junior Santas. He recruited 60 junior Santas. They spent several years training with Santa and now 55 of them are ready to become full-fledged Santas.

Santa also started a reindeer breeding program. And now there is Dasher 1, Dasher 2, Dancer 1, Dancer 2 , Dancer 3 and so on – 500 reindeer in all to pull 55 sleds next Christmas. And all of this was happening while a team of Elves built 55 new Sleighs.

Next Christmas there will be 55 Santa Sleigh teams travelling in the Santajet X-12-25.  Each Santa Sleigh and Reindeer team will disembark the Santajet in a different part of the world and deliver gifts to all of the children, who have been good, in that region on Christmas Eve.

So be prepared, Children, for a modern Santa delivery process. You will have to send your Christmas toy list to a special email address at the North Pole. All children who are good this year will receive the email address via email to theirs or their family’s computer. If you’re a kid without a computer in your family you can go to the library and use a computer there. If you’ve been a naughty kid, it may not be too late to be good – but you’ll have to work very had at it.

Note: This is fiction, everything in this story is from the imagination of our writers and not to be taken literally. It is not meant to change anything about all the Santa Sleigh and Reindeer stories that came before our story.