Make your nativity stable
The Christmas crib must be "the reflection of oneself" !!! It is not a fixed tradition where you have to adhere to strict specifications. But on the contrary, you can, by creating it, give free rein to your imagination and integrate your personal touches according to your passions and desires.
It begins to be installed on the first Sunday of the Advent period (the 4th Sunday before Christmas) and will be dismantled by candlelight on February 2.
The Christmas crib represents the life of a Provencal village and its inhabitants in the 18th century. So avoid representing all the professions, characters or animals that did not exist in a Provencal village at that time (footballer, lion, crocodile, etc.).
All the figurines in the manger must give the impression of advancing towards the baby Jesus, in order to bring him a present, and none must turn their backs on it.
Respect for proportions is very important ... Do not put a sheep larger than a character for example !!! Adapt the decorations and houses to the size of the chosen santons. A perspective can also be very interesting, when you have enough depth. The largest sizes of santons will be in front, and the smallest at the bottom, in height. To heighten your perspective you can use cardboard, stones, or kraft paper.
To make your decorations, use the elements which are found in nature: Moss, branch of cypress, olive tree, thyme or rosemary, stones, pebbles, cork bark, earth ... accessories, put a well, a bridge, a mill and a stable where the Nativity will be installed. You can also put cabins, country houses ... A river can be created with blue paper scratched with white paint or aluminum foil.
Good lighting will bring out the landscape, avoid multicolored garlands. You can also light your homes from the inside, trying to hide your bulbs as much as possible.
By respecting all this you will normally have a beautiful Christmas crib, made in the Provençal tradition.
Choose your crib figurines
The genuine santons of Provence are shaped in clay and painted by hand. It’s a French craft, coming from an ancient tradition.
This tradition of Provencal creche continues today in southern France, where the influence of Occitan culture remains. There’s a strong concentration of santonniers in Aubagne, Marseille, Aix en Provence and Arles.
To choose quality santons, you must take into account several criteria. They must of course be made in an artisanal way in terracotta and painted by hand… but that is not enough!
You must also pay particular attention to the finesse of the details (this is the signature and the know-how of a "great" santonnier). In particular, the face, the drape and the shapes of the santon attest to the quality of the mold. Likewise, the realism and expression of the face gives you guarantees on the painter's mastery.
A renowned santonnier must therefore be recognized as an 'artisan of art' ... And, as a guarantee of quality, our santonnier has also received the gold medal for the best worker of France twice!