A Letter From The Publisher, Dec. 28, 1959

"THE customs of Christmas are many, but none are more enduring than the creation of a crèche, centered about the watching Mary and the Christ child asleep in a manger. The magnificent 18th century creche on TIME'S cover this week is one of the famous Neapolitan presepios that delighted King Charles III of Naples and his queen, who sewed garments of silk and velvet for such exquisitely wrought figurines. Using the simplest of materials—vegetable fibers on wire skeletons, wooden hands and feet, earthenware heads—noted Italian sculptors created these figures, which now enact the Christmas story in the apartment of a Neapolitan...

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