The Story behind the Manger, Shepherds, and Swaddling Clothes

At this time of year, every year, we hear the Christmas story again. The familiar elements—the full inn, the stable, the manger, the animals (not mentioned in the Gospels, by the way), swaddling clothes, angels and shepherds—all provide comfort by their very familiarity. They connect us to tradition and to great art and music, providing an anchor for the rituals and rhythms at the end of the year.

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