Aspinwall man's nativity collection started with gift from daughter
It started in 1995 when Joe Giuffre's daughter went to the Philippines to see the Pope for World Youth Day. She brought her father back a small nativity scene for him to display.
That gift spawned a collection that now includes 170 models of the nativity that fills the Giuffre's Aspinwall home.
Giuffre, a council member who will take over as mayor next year, began collecting nativity scenes from antique stores and flea markets.
“A lot of them are gifts from people when they heard I was collecting,” Giuffre said.
The collection includes sets for children featuring Peanuts and VeggieTales characters. There are scenes with snowmen as well as nativity settings from different cultures.
This year Giuffre converted an old fish tank his son used to use into a display case surrounded by ornaments with nativity scenes.
“We never took it down so I used the fish tank this year and stuck one in there,” Giuffre said.
The oldest in his collection is a 60-year-old set that was passed down to him by his father-in-law.
The nativity has always been a special part of Giuffre's Christmas celebration.
“I always had a plastic one I put out at my mother's,” he said.
An extension to their home gave Giuffre more room to display the collection.
“At one time I didn't have the room to do this but after we put this addition on, then we did,” Giuffre said.
Setting up the display takes about three days, he said. Over the years Giuffre has gotten into a routine to get them up and down with little hassle.
“When I put them away all the ones on one shelf will go in one box,” Giuffre said.
Giuffre looks at the collection as a nice way to celebrate Christmas.
“It's become a hobby and a nice tradition,” he said.
Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Workshop to help Etna, Millvale move toward solar energy
- Sharpsburg considers intern to help with borough business
- Shady Side Academy students pass knowledge on to others
- Sharpsburg North Canal Street fire investigation continues
- Grant money to help UPMC St. Margaret fight youth obesity
- Drake: ‘The Legend’ combines tennis and academia
- Parking officer active in Sharpsburg
- Sharpsburg appoints junior council member
- Aspinwall Catholic school gears up for Lenten fish fry