The story of the birth of Jesus begins in Luke’s Gospel with the Emperor Augustus asking for a census. Therefore Joseph travelled down to Bethlehem with Mary to comply with the order and Mary was very heavy with baby JESUS. That this census took place in winter is unlikely in reality: would the emperor really have expected his people to make such a long and arduous journey in the middle of winter?
When Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem, she gives birth to their son. The newborn baby, inside the Nativity sets is wrapped and placed in a manger with clean straw. Hence the assumption that Jesus was born in a stable. In the Gospel of Luke we read: “And there were shepherds in the same region, standing in the open field and keeping watch over their flock by night” (Lk 2:8). This also suggests a birth in a warmer season, because in the middle of winter there are no flocks of sheep in the fields around Bethlehem. At this time of year there is no grass in the fields and the animals are kept in a stable.