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17 December 2011


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Cy Todd

I just bought a Provencal "creche" for my santons yesterday!! It's got a stable for the Holy Family and blue Provencal shutters on the barn windows! I am soooo excited!! Thanks for this interesting post! And Merry Christmas from Cagnes-sur-mer!! Love, Cy


Thank you for this post Corey with the beautiful old santons. My Provencal creche with new santons is up and spreads beauty as it does every year in December.


Do you think bossing people around is a gift? That's what I'm bringing today as I work at a swim meet in charge of the other parents who are timing. Hmm. Maybe I'll need to find a way to reword that "gift."

Casual Cottage Chic

Corey, I have several porcelain "santons" that I purchased from you last year. Are they "santons" or just figures of French people? I love your collection!!


I have several santons d'argile that I bought many years ago. I have Jesus, Mary and Joseph, a woman on a ladder with a basket of olives and two men with baskets full of lavender. I would bring the gift of song and some lavender because I love it so much. And everyone likes the nursery to smell good...right?


A dear friend gave me some clay Provencal santons a few years ago and they are on display with the thrift shop nativity figurines (identical to the ones of my childhood). Old and new traditions in one arrangement, all with the same message.

Kathie B

Last year author Daniel de Sá (of the island of São Miguel) wrote a delightful short-short story in Portuguese about an Azorean peasant crèche, which he posted on his blog, "O Espólio," and which the Azores government's Comunidades office (for us members of the Azores overseas communities) selected to post on its website.

I found de Sá's story so engaging that, with assistance from my Portuguese professor, I quickly translated it into English. Daniel promptly posted it on his blog and it was also published on the Comunidades website. For those who might wish to read it, our translation is available on-line at:


I hope you enjoy it.

Kathie B

P.S. Here are the links to the Portuguese original (with photo, for those so inclined:


BTW, the Portuguese word for crèche or Nativity scene is "presépio."


C, I would love a few of these figures to add to my nativity - thanks for a very interesting post. xo


To think there isn't one santon in this house!! Santos, yes.. oh my. I must fix that Thank you so much for this post. I remember these well. Bless you Corey. Today, I'm bringing the gift of an open home and good food (including a buche de noel)to our friends! xo marlis

Kathie B

Here's another image of an Azorean presépio, to compare/contrast with French figures:


A lovely tradition. Thank you for the story.
The gift I will bring this year is understanding.


Love that all the other people are included with the santons. What pure Delight!

cynthia wolff

I can easily see how easy it would be to get hooked at collecting santons. Each one is so different and charming in its own ways. I loved the blind lady on the donkey.


Everytime I travel to Provence I pick up a couple of santons. I don't have a creche.
So I assume mine are just village people. I love love the detail on their faces. Thank you
For sharing this story. Hope you and your family are doing as well as can b expected.
Xoxo FrAnco

Annie v.

have had a creche made of santons since I was 12, a long long time ago!!! all of them made of terre cuite one of them is a priest mopping his brow wih a plaid handkerchief , always wondered why, is he overwhelmed byt he birth of Christ? or is just hot being in Provence!!!In all a lovely custom.


My santons come from Maison Grataloup, in Cabris (Provence). I've bought them from "Ange Michel", in Lyon, a religious shop I really enjoy !!!

My crib has grown a little through the last years. No colours.
I stick to the traditional characters. I'm very proud of it !
Thank you for this post...


I am a day late to read this Corey but I must tell you how much I admire these tiny villagers..their gifts are priceless..thank you for teaching me about this..I think my gift would be learning patience..

Karen C

I absolutely adore this tradition. How I long to have some santons for my own creche.
Each gift is precious and they are so humbly portrayed in these little figures.
My gift? It would have to be carelessly forgetting then humbly remembering my blessings. Again, and again and again.
I never tire of your posts on this subject, Corey. Thank you.

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