I thought you guys might find the following interesting:
What about the "Shepherds abiding in the fields"?
Were shepherds in fields (Luke 2:8) near Bethlehem in December?
Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
It is likely that the climate in Judea then was colder then than now. In recent years there have been photographs of Israelis sun-bathing on December 25th!
According to the Talmud:
i)Shepherds brought sheep in "from the wilderness" for winter.
ii)But shepherds supervised the birth of the lambs in the Temple-owned fields [situated between Jerusalem and Bethlehem] in February.
Luke 2:8-14. The Angelic Proclamation to the Shepherds.
It was in these pastures that David spent his youth and fought the lion and the bear (1 Sam. xvii. 34, 35). A passage in the Mishnah (Shek. vii. 4; comp. Baba K. vii. 7, 80 a) leads to the conclusion that the flocks which pastured there were destined for Temple-sacrifices, and accordingly, that the shepherds who watched over them were not ordinary shepherds. The latter were under the ban of Rabbinism on account of their necessary isolation from religious ordinances and their manner of life, which rendered strict religious observance unlikely, if not absolutely impossible. The same Mischnic passage also leads us to infer that these flocks lay out all the year round [their italics], since they are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before the Passover - that is, in the month of February, when in Palestine the average rainfall is nearly greatest. (Edersheim. Life and Times. i. pp. 186, 187).
v. 8. This statement is by no means conclusive against December as the time of the year. The season may have been a mild one; it is not certain that all sheep were brought under cover at night during the winter months.
It is of the flocks in the wilderness, far from towns or villages, that the often quoted saying was true, that they were taken out in March and brought home in November. These shepherds may have returned from the wilderness, and if so, the time would be between November and March.
From "International Critical Commentary", 1922, "Luke"