December and January are the times when all kinds of Christmas Cribs (Nativity Set-) exhibitions (in German: ' WeihnachtsKrippenAustellungen ' , ' KripperlRoas ') are shown throughout rural Austria. I'll show you a short selection of cribs (10 photos of mine) of the area I live in. Thanks to the builders of these cribs 4 letting me share their works with the world!
Christmas cribs are made in the whole Christian world, I've seen for example very interesting African ones.
There are proponents for Christmas trees and ... Christmas cribs (besides the X-mas worshippers :). I prefer the term 'CHRISTMAS CRIB' and will not use the term 'nativity set'.
Some people speak of Celtic origins of the Christmas tree however in this part of Austria it was usually the Christmas crib that was put up for the holidays - the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ or ... the feast of light celebrating the fact that from December 23 the days become longer again.
Then, with lots of love and commitment (maybe also dedication or devotion) the cribs are built to be put up around Christmas. All this action might be a kind of re-creation or re-enactment.
It's usually important for Christmas Crib builders to integrate the typical native landscape into the composition of the crib.
This means for example that Christ is put closely towards a typical barn or house of the area the crib was built.
Landscape, religious motive and natural materials are melted into something new.
The position of the figures is changed in real time. This means that around December 24th Josef, Mary and Jesus dominate the scene.
Then, around January 6th the three kings show up and bring their presents.
There is an amount of theory , speculations and doctrines among crib-builders about the how and where to put figures like sheperds etc.
I wish you good health and some beautiful holidays whatever your faith or religion may be.