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Top 10 Traditional Holiday Decor Items (and Where they Came From)

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Nativity Scenes

Nativity scenes of all sizes are displayed at Christmas to depict the birth of Jesus.
Nativity scenes of all sizes are displayed at Christmas to depict the birth of Jesus.
Comstock/Thinkstock

Here's one piece of d├ęcor that can run the gamut from simple to elaborate. Christians traditionally assemble miniature scenes to depict the birth of Christ, the event at the root of the Christmas holiday. The baby Jesus, his parents Mary and Joseph, the Three Wise Men and an assortment of barnyard animals often populate these miniature manger scenes, in accordance with the story of Christ's birth as told in the books of the New Testament of the Bible.

But beyond the basic premise, nativity scenes can get quite elaborate. Indoor displays can vary from simple wooden figures to expensive glass and precious metal miniatures. Outdoor displays can range from plastic statues in the front yard to elaborate scenes displayed in front of churches, complete with theatrical lighting and live characters and animals.

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