My wife has a small collection of nativity sets. One of her favourites is a collection by Fontanini inherited from my mother.
Since this assortment is remarkably durable the grandchildren have always been invited to work with it, to move the figures around, to re-tell the story. (This week a (non-Fontanini) figure of a whale has been added to the set.) As well, with the birth of each grandchild a new character is added to the tableau. Somehow they become part of the story.
But back to my ignorance.
I overheard my wife telling the story again to our youngest grandchild.
“The baby Jesus has his arms open wide. He is ready to give you a hug.”
Apparently the open armed depiction of the infant is a fixture of many creche scenes.
How could I never have noticed that before?