Traditional nativity scenes generally offer up well-known Bible characters: Mary, Joseph, the wise men and animals surrounding baby Jesus in a manger. While that’s the typical layout, some companies take liberties with the nativity, adding their own personal touch — and David Nedrow’s and Bob Abele’s Negativity Scene is no exception.
Rather than showing elation over the birth of the Christian savior, the characters in their version of the nativity have angry looks on their faces. Even baby Jesus is scowling from the confines of his manger, with the animals around him looking equally perturbed.
“We wanted to make something that would break barriers,” Nedrow told the Ithaca Times. “If it makes people laugh and have a better Christmas, then it did what we wanted it to do.”
Nedrow apparently first came up with the idea while joking with family members about a friend’s negative reaction to the holidays. After suggesting that, perhaps a grumpy nativity scene would capture his friend’s sentiment, he decided to make one by changing the expressions on characters’ faces. His family loved it and, thus, the Negativity Scene was born.
It didn’t take long for Nedrow to team up with Abele and the two are now mass producing their Negativity Scenes, which first went on sale in Nov. 2012. The displays continue to sell for $20 on NegativityDisplay.com.
While some might question why beloved Bible characters have scowls on their faces, Nedrow explained that the Negativity Scene is intended to be an entertaining “icebreaker,” especially during a season where shopping and decorating can take over.
Rather than an attack on Christmas, the modern take on the traditional scene is meant to help people loosen up a bit.
“I hope you can see The Negativity Scene™ for what it is; not an attack on your religious beliefs, but a reason to smile. When things look their darkest, it’s time to lighten up,” reads the company’s Facebook page.
There’s even a Negativity Scene jingle, encouraging people to buy the product. Listen below:
The display essentially takes aim at the “Bah Humbug” attitude that many have during the Christmas season — a time that is meant to be joyous for all.
“We didn’t intend it to be offensive to anyone,” Nedrow told the Ithaca Times. “If it can get anyone, when they see one, to laugh that’s all that matters.”
(H/T: Ithaca Times)