Me and the Belén
Me and the Belén

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Enjoy the festive season!

I went to visit a Belén (Nativity scene) yesterday in Macael, a town near to us, and it was so amazing that I just had to share these photos with you. Each town in Spain tends to have a Belén on display and you will also see them in shop windows. Coastal towns even have them made out of sand.

This huge Belén told the story of Jesus – from Joseph’s dream and the Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary to tell her of her pregnancy, to the child Jesus talking to the elders in the temple.The scenes had running water for rivers, smoke from fires, real growing plants and the traditional little peasant man squatting and going for a poo. This little man is a traditional addition to the Nativity scene here and there are various theories as to what he represents and why he is placed in the scene, from him bringing good luck to him fertilizing the Earth or representing that the Nativity was all about God becoming human. Macael’s Belén also had a local twist, with a scene depicting marble being quarried because of our local marble industry.

Here are some photos:







P.S. Check out the Advent Calendar today for a video of me, plus my rather elderly cat Poppy. The dogs slept through it so don’t feature!

P.P.S. I’ve written about various aspects of Christmas in Tudor times for the advent calendar, but you can also read more in my article “Tudor Christmas”.

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19 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!”
  1. Oh, how I am going to miss the Advent Calendar. I loved it very much. I want to thank you for all your beautiful stories, recipes etc.
    And at the end the lovely video with you and the lovely cat.
    I wish you a very Happy Christmas.
    With love from Margriet de Graaff

    P.S. I almost forgot: the photos of the nativity scenes are great.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing nativity scenes Claire. Also thank you again for your fantastic site. Wishing you a peaceful and happy Chriistmas. Tony Smith

  3. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you Claire and your family as well as Anne Boleyn Files family. Ashok

  4. Thank you for sharing the photos of the Nativity scene, what a lot of work. We did one of these when Iwas in the first grade, the pics brought back happy memories. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  5. The Nativity scene is amazing – never saw one set up in such detail (like most folks do up holiday village scenes).

    Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the Anne Boleyn Files followers!

  6. Thanks for the photos, Claire. A very happy holidays and a great new year to you, to your family, and to everyone who follows both the AB and the Elizabeth Files!

  7. Lovely! I wonder if the walls were painted especially to look like blue sky….
    Thanks, Claire, for sharing the photos, and Merry Christmas to All !!
    The Advent Calendar was great as usual. Lots of work had to have gone into it, and it showed!

  8. Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope 2014 is your best year yet! Thank you for these lovely photos–I have a friend from France who has the most elaborate and amazing crèche which he has made by hand. It reminds me a little of these. Again, blessings to you and yours this holiday season.

  9. Brightest blessings of the Season to everyone! Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos, Claire, they’re lovely. Enjoy your holiday!

  10. The photos are wonderful.
    You can see there has been an awful lot of work, time and love put into the making of the Belen, it’s amazing and very realistic, had a chuckle about the man having a ‘poo’, lol.
    The video that you made on the advent calendar was a nice finishing touch Claire, you put a lot of hard work into the calendar, very much appreciated.

    I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and hope its turns out to just as you wished it would be.

  11. Hello, and Merry Christmas or Yuletime or Which feast anyone of you wish this Day; for me it is Christmas; so welcome and Happy Birthday Jesus! I loved the photographs and the article on the Tudor Christmas. We in our family also celebrate what we believe to more represent the true Christmas on 6th January with another turkey and songs and go to the 12th night carols at our local church. Epiphany: the Revealing, i think it means; was of course the day the Magi came and visited the Holy Family having travelled by tradition from Persia, India and East Africa. The Eastern Church celebrates on the 6th and some Syrian Churches on 7th. The 6th we also call 12th night and in Tudor times they had a great party with masques and balls and all sorts of fun on this the last night of Christmas, before we take down the decorations and return to our labours. I wish we could all stop work today for the full 12 days of Christmas; that would make it a true celebration.

    Anyway, whether you are celebrating with friends, family, going to carols or services, having a live nativity, or just putting your feet up and relaxing, have a safe and peaceful time and if you are travelling in this stormy weather, take care, take it slow, and if you need to take shelter. A Merry and Blessed Christmas to all of you and a good 2014.

    Peace and Joy.

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