My God-mother started gifting this collection to me in 1986. Each year I would get at least one figurine to add to the set. At some point, the gifting ended and I continued collecting making my own purchases and adding the buildings. In 2006, we moved to New Mexico. This is the first year since then that we have put up the entire collection due to the length of time and the space needed to put it on display. The detail is amazing and the pictures really don’t do it justice.
The 2019 display took approximately 12 hours to unbox each piece and set it all up. It includes 11 lighted buildings – 3 King’s tents, the shepherds camp, the rug market, the market, the bakery, the vineyard, the workshop, the inn, and the manger. Unlighted elements include a pond with a pump and running water, the port of entry, and a river. There are also many accessories.
The figures are biblical characters and angels. Each figurine is hand-painted, has a name (ours are dated on the bottom with the year they were gifted or purchased) and their “story”. Some of them have been signed by Fontanini family members when we got to meet them during a few of their US tours.