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Franciscan Christmas by Kathleen M. Carroll

The true meaning of Christmas isn't found in the glitter and gifts. It's not on the tree or tucked under it. It won't be served with the cookies and eggnog. But it can be found in a place of honor in most Christian homes: the Christmas crèche. Francis of Assisi first recreated the scene of the Nativity nearly eight hundred years ago, but it has endured as a favorite holiday tradition. Small crèches grace humble homes and ornate versions appear in grander homes--even the White House. Families flock to life-size manger scenes with rustic timbers and live animals. Most feature elements from the gospel stories, and some add their own creative touch. Each piece of the Nativity has its own story and meaning in Franciscan history and Christian spirituality. Take a closer look at the crèche and learn why Christmas is central to Franciscan spirituality and how you can find a deeper meaning in the simplest of seasonal decorations.

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