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"I will hold Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." - Charles Dickens.

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Christmas Symbols

    The Nativity Scene

    The crib, representing the manger in which the baby Jesus Christ was laid after his birth in a stable in Bethlehem, has become a favorite Christmas decoration. It has been used for centuries to bring to life the story of Christmas.

    Francis of Assisi, who was renowned for his love of animals, instituted the custom of the nativity scene. After receiving permission from the Pope, he erected the first one during the Christmas of 1224 in a cave outside the town of Greccio in Italy. It was not a hand crafted or modren type of crib but a live scene. When people gathered to watch the spectacle. Francis stood in front of the manger and would recite the Gospel relating to the scene; then he would deliver a sermon.

    Nowadays, nativity scenes with all the figures such as Joseph, Mary and the three wise men along with an ox and an ass, have become popular throughout the Christian world.

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