Christmas is a holiday for giving, and nothing gives Christian writer Mark Oesteicher more pleasure than a bizarre nativity scene.
The birth of Jesus has inspired many artists and entrepreneurs to put their own spin on the tale. Christian author Mark Oestreicher has collected some of his favorites on his blog, <a href="http://whyismarko.com/2013/the-50-worst-and-weirdest-nativity-sets/" target="_hplink">WhyIsMarko.com</a>, including this one that depicts all participants as zombies in "Deathlehem."
Rubber Duckie Nativity
Oestreicher used to be bothered when he would see nativity scenes depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph as rubber ducks, but now he looks at products like these as "whimsical attempts for people to engage in a mystery."
This depiction of the birth of Jesus "meats" all of Oestreicher's criteria for an offbeat nativity -- and has the added bonus of being able to feed peoples' stomachs and their souls at the same time.
Nativity Cupcake Toppers
At first, Oestreicher was taken aback by the use of obviously commercial products, such as these cupcake toppers, even though they "weren't morally wrong." But he has learned to enjoy them.
Oestreicher loves the craft that went behind this nativity scene, even though he finds the concept fishy.
This depiction of the Bethlehem manger in spam is surely made for Monty Python fans.
Snow Globe Nativity
Oestreicher is particularly amused by this snow globe nativity, mainly because of the way Mary and Joseph are looking at their child through a fishbowl.
Oestreicher believes this nativity, which depicts Jesus and family as s'mores, is perhaps the worst nativity set he's seen.
Shotgun Shell Nativity
If there is a person in your life whose favorite religious ditty is "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition," this nativity made from shotgun shells is sure to hit the bullseye.
Oestreicher's annual blog post of weird nativity scenes has become so big that some people send him photos of their work in hopes of inclusion, such as this soap nativity.
Oestreicher initially worried about including this nativity scene that uses tampons, but decided to go ahead since it comes from a legitimate craft website that just happens to be dedicated to using tampons.
Oestreicher admits that he's not a fan of animal nativity scenes, because they lack creativity.
Because some Christians are anti-Halloween, Oestreicher wasn't sure about the intent of the people who made this nativity scene, but after discussions with the creators, decided it was not malicious, just fun.
This nativity scene, using only color blocks, is Oestreicher's current favorite, as it shows that the nativity is so iconic that it's possible to look at these abstract shapes and still tell what its depicting immediately.
Oestreicher jokes that the religious act of eating the body of Christ takes on new dimensions when <a href="http://jazzygourmet.com/product/nativity.html" target="_blank">he's made of chocolate.</a>
There's only one word for these <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/craftyrosy?ref=l2-shopheader-name" target="_blank">yummy-looking nativity characters</a> made from frosting: Relicious!
Gingerbread Yard Art Nativity
Celebrate two important holiday signifier, the nativity and gingerbread men, by combining them into <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/380544518329?lpid=82" target="_blank">big lawn ornaments.</a>
This depiction of the Nativity featuring monkeys may cause a lot of discussion over the theory of evolution.
Nativity Puzzle Erasers
A <a href="http://www.word.com.au/Nativity-Puzzle-Erasers/Stationery/615122120026" target="_blank">nativity-themed puzzle eraser set </a>may seem bizarre but Oestreicher points out that Christians believe Jesus came to Earth to erase people's sins.
Nesting Dolls Nativity
Nativity nesting dolls are fairly common, but Oestreicher likes <a href="http://www.orientaltrading.com/nativity-nesting-dolls-a2-36_2900-11-1.fltr?xsaleSku=13618085" target="_blank">this particular set</a> because the tiny sheep fits inside Baby Jesus.
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