Has anyone else noticed the evolution of nativity scenes over the past 100 years?
I have a large nativity scene from the 1930s, and the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph are both kneeling with their hands folded in prayer. Plus, the Christ Child is clothed in a gown that comes all the way down to his ankles. I also have a much smaller nativity scene that I purchased from France based on molds from the early 1900s. The Blessed Mother and St. Joseph are both kneeling in prayer with their hands folded and the Christ Child is wearing a gown that comes down to his ankles.
But most of the modern nativity scenes don’t show either St. Joseph or the Blessed Mother in prayer. Usually, St. Joseph is shown standing, and the Blessed Mother has her hands outstretched. Plus, the Christ Child is usually naked except for a loin cloth.
It seems to me that the older nativity scenes make a clearer call to devotion (praying before the Christ Child like St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother) and show greater respect and modesty for the Christ Child, but I’d love to hear other people’s views on this.