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Christmas Eve is a time for viewing Italy's artistic and elaborate manger scenes or Cribs.

They consist of figurines, in clay or plaster , of the infant Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

A Roman Christian scholar by the name of Valentinus produced the first documentation of Christmas being celebrated on December 25 as a special feast in the year 354.

Particularly, a Greek Saint from that era called Saint Nicolas, who lived in what is today known as Turkey, was also well-known for delivering presents to children on that day.

All Christmas sweets, as a rule, contain nuts and almonds.

Peasant folklore theorizes that to eat nuts favors the fertility of the earth and aids in the increase of flocks and family.

In ancient Rome, honey was offered at this time of year so that the new year might be sweet.

On Christmas Eve, Italian children set out their shoes for the female Santa Claus, La Befana, to fill with gifts of all kinds like toys, candies and fruit.

Furthermore, Luke 2:7-8 clearly states that Jesus was born in a time when the shepherds of Palestine were out with their flocks, which due to the cold, is not possible in the winter.There may be grottoes, small trees, lakes, rivers, the lights of "Bethlehem" in the background, angels hung from wires, and occasionally, even local heroes. There is often a contest between churches of the same town for the best Crib.People go from church to church to view and compare the Cribs and displays.Another tradition is the burning of the Yule log, which must stay alight until New Year's Day.This, again, is an example of pagan and Christian blending.

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However, it is virtually impossible to find any evidence that Jesus and his disciples celebrated on December 25.

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