I always thought it was kind of strange that some Renaissance artists would paint pictures of Biblical scenes but dress the characters in the garb of their day. I figure Raphael and the other artists of the 16th Century knew that Mary didn't wear the clothing of the Italian women of their time. They had to have known that there was no reason for the infant Jesus and John (the Baptist) to be playing with a cross--think of what the cross meant at the time. They knowingly placed their Biblical scenes in surroundings that were a millennia-and-a-half out of synch.
I'm way far away from being an art expert, but my guess is that they were trying to communicate a timeless message in a way that would communicate with with their contemporaries. You can let me know if I'm wrong, and I'll leave it up to better heads than mine to comment on whether or not they succeeded at all. You can see some examples of this kind of art here.
All of this was really a fairly long-winded introduction to a video that someone sent me. I have in mind some friends of mine who decry against the use of technology in regard to worship to such an extent that they feel it necessary to defend themselves against the accusation that they are Luddites. I received the link to this imaginitive video from a friend. Someone took the story of Christ's birth and presented it in a totally anachronistic way. I'm not trying to say it is high-art or anything, but it worked on me.
What if the ubiquitous ability to post online messages were available to the characters who make up the Christmas story?
I encourage you to look.