Nativity Fest – a Fair Trade Holiday

Fair Trade HolidayChristmas season has arrived at Ten Thousand Villages and that means three things – Nativities, ornaments, and Benefit Shopping Nights! Nativity Fest, coming up this Thursday November 12th in support of St Vincent’s of Austin, is one of our first nonprofit Benefit Nights for this season and marks the launch of our Nativity collection for 2015.

Nativity History 

The first recorded Nativity was created by St. Francis of Assisi; who was concerned that people were too wrapped up the process of gift-giving than on the true message of Christmas. He created the first nativity in a cave in Italy and used living people and animals to tell the Nativity Story. Today, Nativity sets are mostly made out of different materials such as ceramics, porcelain, and wood, and consist of at least five pieces: the stable, manger, baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. We are happy to feature new and classic nativities introduced throughout the years and show the diversity of this artform at Nativity Fest and throughout the holidays.

Music Box Nativity

Music Box Nativity

Nativities in store

The nativities featured immerse us in a cultural experience while sharing the meaning of the Nativity Story. The Music Box Nativity (2011) is a nativity that plays “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”. This Nativity is made near Bethlehem by Raja Bannoura and his family hand who carve nativities from olive wood. Raja started the workshop in 1974 and his hand-carved products provide hope in a community unsettled by civil violence.



Amazon River Nativity


Introduced in 2015, the Amazon River Nativity is handcrafted in Peru and includes an Amazonian theme with rainforest animals. This Nativity is made by the artisans of Manos Amigas, Hands Joined in Friendship, that works with families and small businesses in the Andean highlands.



Cameroon Nativity



Made from river clay, the Cameroon Nativity was introduced in 2013. To make this Nativity, artisans must work as a team and throw the clay from person to person from the river’s edge to the workshop at the top of the riverbank.



Join us this Thursday night to celebrate this beautiful artform and support St.Vincent de Paul of Austin. And if you’re interested in supporting other nonprofits this holiday season, click here to see our full Benefit Night calendar! Our full collection of nativities, ornaments, advent calendars and decor is now available in store, so don’t wait until it’s too late to add a beautiful, handmade piece to your holiday collection.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

Happy Holidays from Ten Thousand Villages