Symbols Of Christmas
(AP)-Christmas is celebrated in so many different ways around the world, but some items have reached across time and space.
Certainly a representation of the Christ child is a constant, although some stories have his birth taking place in a cave, not in a stable.
It's believed St. Francis of Assisi began the custom of symbolizing Christ's birth in a manger, surrounded by animals, the shepherds and Mary and Joseph.
Many people associate candles with Christmas, stemming from the warmth and light they give off, at a time of darkness and cold.
It's not uncommon to put a star atop one's Christmas tree, as a symbol of the bright star that's thought to have led the Wise Men to Jesus.
And there are those who wouldn't do without their traditional poinsettia on Christmas. That tradition began in Mexico, where the poinsettia is a native plant.
As the story goes, a young boy had nothing to bring to the Christ child, so he grabbed some green branches along the roadside, only to see a beautiful red flower appear as he laid them by the manger.