The Nativity of Christ
St. Joseph - the Guardian of Christ and His mother; tradition relates that Joseph was an elderly widower, thus having white hair and beard; he is depicted being tempted by Satan to doubt the virgin birth.
Satan - the figure in the lower center, he is depicted as an elderly hunchback tempting St. Joseph; whereas all else in the icon should be done in bright colors, Satan, the Price of Darkness, is portrayed in dark, drab garments.
A Shepherd - the figure on the right he is depicted facing the angels as they announce the glad tidings of the birth of the Messiah.
The Magi - the figures on the left; they are depicted following the star, which is in the top center, and carrying their gifts; tradition speaks of their being representative of all mankind ... one being young, one being middle-aged and the other being elderly.
The Angels - the group on the left offers worship to Christ; the group on the right announces the glad tidings to a shepherd.
The Cow and the Star - illustrate that all creation rejoices at the birth of the Messiah, the lowly and the great, the earthly and the heavenly.
The Feast of Christmas is formally entitled The Nativity in the Flesh of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. At Christmas we celebrate the birth as a man of the Son of God, the one who is truly God, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, from all eternity. The Feast of Christmas is the celebration of the world's salvation through the Son of God who became man for our sake, so that through Him, we might ourselves become divine, sons (and daughters) of God the Father by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit in us. (Taken from Worship, The Orthodox Faith, Vol. II, by Fr. Thomas Hopko)
YOUR NATIVITY, O CHRIST OUR GOD, HAS SHONE TO THE WORLD THE LIGHT OF WISDOM! FOR BY IT, THOSE WHO WORSHIPPED THE STARS, WERE TAUGHT BY A STAR TO ADORE YOU, THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND TO KNOW YOU, THE ORIENT FROM ON HIGH.O LORD, GLORY TO YOU!
TODAY THE VIRGIN GIVES BIRTH TO THE TRANSCENDENT ONE, AND THE EARTH OFFERS A CAVE TO THE UNAPPROACHABLE ONE! ANGELS WITH SHEPHERDS GLORIFY HIM! THE WISE MEN JOURNEY WITH THE STAR, SINCE FOR OUR SAKE THE ETERNAL GOD WAS BORN AS A LITTLE CHILD!