The nativity scene, or the manger scene, is one of the most religious based things about Christmas. My Grandmother was religious, a good Presbyterian. My Mother took us to church and sometimes she still goes herself. But we didn’t have a very religious way of life. It let all of us make up our own mind and I appreciated that. I had the freedom to research, discover and choose for myself when it came to what I believe. That is something I still value.
If you carry on the traditional Christian religious beliefs, the nativity scene is part of the Christmas tradition. My Grandmother had a small wooden set which she brought out each Christmas. I don’t even have a photograph of it now and I don’t remember it as clearly as I would like.
“Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223 (a “living” one) intending thereby to cultivate the worship of Christ, having been inspired by his recent visit to the Holy Land where he had been shown Jesus’s traditional birthplace.” – Quoted from Wikipedia.