I love nativity sets, but I’ve never really gone for the Jesus-as-a-Precious-Moments-cherub style. So this year I’ve rounded up 8 modern nativity sets that skip the traditional but still deliver on all the festive Christmas vibes.

If you’re looking for cool graphic design, humor, or a little minimalism in your nativity set, consider this list your guiding star, ha.

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Related: 11 of the absolute coolest advent calendars for 2017. 


Modern nativity sets: Modern wood nativity scene | Ideas in Wood

I’m loving the understated elegance of this modern wood nativity scene. And since it’s only $26 from the Ideas in Wood Etsy shop–and has near universal aesthetic appeal–I think this would make the perfect gift for a host or teacher.

Modern nativity sets: Modern peg nativity set | Affordable Waldorf

We feature a peg version of the classic nativity every year, and this year the Waldorf style modern peg nativity set from the aptly named Affordable Waldorf really caught my eye. How charming are those barnyard beasts? And so nice to see a slightly more realistic Middle Eastern skin tone represented, too.

Modern nativity sets: Terrarium Nativity Scene | Joanne's

If you like the idea of a peg doll nativity set but want to put your own spin on it (or let the kids add theirs), check out this clever diy terrarium nativity scene craft I found at Joann. You can paint the figurines, then get creative with setting the scene with supplies they stock; I’m thinking some cotton ball sheep might be in order.

Modern nativity sets: Vitra Nativity Scene by Alexander Girard | Modern Planet
Okay, so it’s not in my budget, but I’m completely taken with this modern Vitra nativity scene by Alexander Girard that I saw at Modern Planet. Because gold leaf + playful whimsy = holiday perfection.

Modern nativity sets: Printable nativity set | Rob Wilson for Sweet Paul

If you’re looking for a last-minute freebie (aren’t we all?), try this free printable nativity set we featured in previous years is still awesome. By Rob Wilson for Sweet Paul, you can let the kids have this version for their own room, or display it as a centerpiece at Christmas dinner.

Related: 6 unexpected nativity sets your kids can actually play with. 

Modern nativity sets: LEGO nativity set | My Lego Ideas

I love the occasional ironic nativity set, and I couldn’t resist this LEGO nativity set from My LEGO Ideas. Think of it as a way to preempt your kids — who will inevitably play with whatever nativity set you use anyway, amirite?

Modern nativity sets: Modern nativity cards | MOMA store

Leave it to the MOMA store to give us these gorgeous modern nativity cards, which exude pop art cheer while still seeming appropriately reverent. Consider this option you have small space to decorate, or if you just want to send an awesome card that’s religious but still modern.


Modern nativity sets: Hipster nativity | Modern nativity

Are you laughing along with me at this hipster nativity set? We’ve featured it in the past but I think it somehow keep getting more true-to-life every year. Especially that selfie in the manger, because come on, you’ve got to share those newborn baby Jesus photos on Facebook right? Find it at Modern Nativity.

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