I gotta admit–Away in a Manger bugs me a bit. It makes the stable and manger seem sweet. Lullaby sweet. And I have second thoughts.
The only good thing about birthing a baby in a stable is that it isn’t the street. No gawking crowd of strangers.
The only good thing about settling a baby into a manger is that it’s cleaner than the stable floor.
I grew up among farmers. We took off our boots and washed our hands when we came in from the barn. For good reason.