For thousands of families through the Delaware Valley, setting up the nativity each year is an enduring and meaningful family tradition that stretches back generations.  It brings back memories that resonate on many levels and remind us of the true meaning of Christmas amidst the commercialization and hype.

A larger nativity in the tradition of an Italian presepi for a family in Newtown featuring figures from the Italian Alps region.

In the heart of beautiful Bucks County there’s a unique firm dedicated to renewing and encouraging that tradition across the country.   Navidad Nativities’ ‘Sanctuary Atelier’ studio in Buckingham creates amazing works of nativity art for private collectors, churches, and museums.

For over two thousand years, art has interpreted faith to inspire people, and help them ‘feel’ something that cannot always be explained.   Navidad Nativities  believes that ‘the art of the nativity’ can bring inspiration and joy to all who come to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Artisans Michael J. Stumpf and A.J. DiAntonio craft intriguing settings completely out of wood and natural materials, and incorporate beautiful nativity figures from some of the finest studios in Italy, Germany, and Spain.  They also work with clients to create custom commissions using a family’s own nativity figures that may have been acquired in world travels or been in the family for generations.

Navidad mangers and nativities range in size from small table top designs to large free-standing presentations for churches or museums, like Trinity Church Wall Street in Manhattan or Glencairn Museum in nearby Bryn Athyn, Montgomery County or the Byers’ Choice Nativity Museum.

From a simple grouping of the Holy Family to dozens of traditional figures gathering to worship the new born Saviour, nativities, presepi, krippen, nacimientos, mangers, creches come in all shapes and sizes.

A custom commission heirloom nativity created for newlyweds as they begin their life together and start their own special Christmas traditions.

Navidad’s work has been featured locally and nationally by the media and more information is available at

Michael Stumpf is a former banker and owner of a marketing and branding agency in Doylestown.  He also designed previously for Fontanini/Roman, the world’s largest manufacturer of religious goods worldwide.

A.J. DiAntonio is the Logistics Coordinator at Loch Aerie Mansion, a special event venue.  Prior to his return to Malvern, he was television producer for 9 years based in Los Angeles and working globally.  A.J. maintains a collection of almost 500 distinctive nativities from around the world.

That tradition of the nativity under the tree at Christmas is alive and well in the Delaware Valley.