Many homes put up at least one nativity scene every Christmas. To Christians they are a picture of the poverty and squalor into which Jesus Christ was born and a way to remember the Reason for the season. The first nativity scene was set up by Francis of Assisi on December 24, 1223. These scenes were most commonly found in southern Europe where the Catholic faith was strongest.
Nativity scenes are made in all fashions from the simple, hand-made creches to fancy store-bought dioramas. No matter what form the nativity scene takes they all display the manger, the star of Bethlehem, angels, shepherds, wise men, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. More elaborate scenes may contain animals, houses (sometimes forming a miniature village), and additional people. Also popular are painted nativity scenes, living nativity scenes, and dramas portraying the birth of Christ. In Mexico, people participate in Las Posadas, a commemoration of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem and their search for lodging.
For different look at the story of Christ's birth go read That Night in Bethlehem.
Learn more about why Jesus Christ came to earth to be born as a baby.