This year's Nativity scene will be unlike any other. Instead of the traditional depiction of a stable in Bethlehem, on-lookers might soon find the Baby Jesus born in Joseph's Nazareth workshop.
The State Department of the Vatican announced the transformation in setting and location, citing the need for "a change" and a desire to crack down on the various "fanciful Nativity scenes" as their reasoning, the London Daily Telegraph reported.
The original scene has its foundation in St. Luke's gospel with Christ being born in a manger — a box or trough in a barn where feed is placed for cattle and livestock. However, a spokesman for the State Department of the Vatican told the Telegraph two verses in St. Matthew's gospel, Chapter 1:24 and 1:25, inspired the change:
"When Joseph woke up, he did as the Angel of God ordered and took Mary into his house. Without them knowing each other, a child was born and he called his name Jesus."
Pope Benedict XVI will inaugurate the new version of Christ's birth on Christmas Eve. The hay and livestock may be gone, but three rooms will take their place. One adorned with carpentry tools to resemble Joseph's shop and the other two featuring the interior of a pub complete with a hearth and a patio where the family was presumed to have lived.