A nativity scene is a depiction of the birth of Jesus as described in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. While the term "nativity scene" typically includes two dimensional depictions in film, painting, printmaking, and other media, the term popularly refers to static, three dimensional, commercial or folk artdioramas, or pantomimes called "living nativity scenes" in which real humans and animals participate. Nativity scenes exhibit (at the minimum) figures representing the infant Jesus, his mother Mary, and Mary's husband, Joseph. Some nativity scenes include other characters from the Biblical story such as shepherds, the Magi, and angels. The figures are usually displayed in a stable, cave, or other structure. Distinctive nativity scenes and traditions have been created around the world and are displayed during the Christmas season in churches, homes, shopping malls, and other venues, and occasionally on public lands and in public buildings. The Vatican has displayed a scene in St. Peter's Square near its Christmas tree since 1982 and the Pope has for many years blessed the mangers of children assembled in St. Peter's Square for a special ceremony.
Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food and beer. ... Who'd have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?