- Have Jesus in a manger with no one there at first but Joseph and Mary (animals are optional).
- Have the shepherds show up. No angels. The angels are never described as visiting the baby. They show up while the shepherds are out of town. Read Luke, for pete’s sake.
- Have the shepherds take off.
- Replace the new born infant with a two year old or so toddler.
- Get the family out of the animal segment of the place and put them in the house proper. Read Matthew, for pete’s sake.
- Have the wise men show up. There may be any from 2 to, oh who knows, 10? Any number but 1 is actually fine since the Bible never specifies a number and only uses the plural.
- Have them present gifts. They can all give the three named gifts or each can give one or any variation of 1-3.
- Have them leave. The angels can’t be with them at the house and neither can the shepherds. Matthew’s account is chronologically distant from Luke’s. Luke’s narration is early on in the newborn’s life and Matthew’s is a couple of years later.
In sum, the shepherds and wise men weren’t there at the same time. The angels were never there. If you choose to telescope everything into one giant event, that’s your business. But realize, there’s no biblical justification for doing so and in fact to do so is to distort Scripture.
Stop letting art be your guide and let Scripture be instead.