Traditions Standard

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What is in a traditional nativity?

I know it's baby jesus, 3 kings,virgin mary..... what's the rest?

Depends upon your personal traditions. Standard issue is the Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, one or two shepherds, some sheep, three Wise Men, some camels, an angel or two, perhaps a star. Some of the larger, expensive designer sets have expanded, however, to include just about the entire population of Bethlehem, and include farmers, girls with water jars, merchants, etc.

There's a wonderful Mexican tradition of making manger scenes that go on (almost) for miles, and include animals and people from all over the world. See the California's Gold "Nacimientos" episode (if you're in the viewing area) for more information.

A fun note: in France, it's customary to have the Wise Men progress toward the stable from Christmas Day until Epiphany, when they finally arrive. Also, many people do not place the Baby Jesus in the scene until Christmas Day.

You might also hang out on Ebay and google nativity sets; I was in the market for one recently, and it's amazing the variety of different styles.

Merry Christmas!

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