In this month's Magnificat, there's an article entitled, "The Alpha and the Omega," by Anthony Esolen. This is the first paragraph:
When St. Francis, the little poor man of God, thought of the birth of Jesus, he pictured the humble appearance of the Savior of the world in the cattle stall, with the lowly oxen and sheep nearby. St. Francis built the first creche, and from that time to this, that quiet birthplace has entered the Christian imagination: the beauty of the small boy, the rapt adoration of Mary, the weary Joseph, and the simple shepherds. It's hard for us to think of Christmas without the scene, and that is right and just, but of course there is more. The child in the manger is the Son of God, through whom all things were made. In him we find the mystery of mankind fallen and redeemed, and the fulfillment of time in eternity.
It is hard to think of Christmas without this scene, despite attempts by organizations like Freedom From Religion to remove it physically. Even if you're a CINO (Catholic in name only) or a wishy-washy Christian of any denomination, the Nativity scene is what we all think of when we think of Christmas.
The birth of Christ is the beginning. It is our chance to be reborn in faith without the clutter and baggage of past mistakes.