This year, I’ve been shopping for a Nativity Set. I intended to give it as a gift to someone who doesn’t have one. I didn’t need a handmade ceramic one, or a signed Fontanini original—in fact, an inexpensive but unique crèche would just fit the bill. But this is what I’ve found:
- At Hallmark Cards, you can buy penguins and a coffee mug or a time capsule—but you can’t find Baby Jesus in the manger.
- At Target, you can top your “holiday tree” with a space capsule or a blue owl, but a Christmas Creche is nowhere to be found.
- For Pete’s sake, at the Christmas Store in Olde Canterbury Village, there are only a few creches to be found amid the thousands of ornaments and wreaths and baubles. I’d guess there are ten “sailboat” Christmas scenes for each Nativity scene that has made its way onto the store shelves.
I know I could go online and find a set through ebay, but I’m still concerned about what is happening to American culture and tradition.
In store after store, the “Christmas” section has been supplanted by the “Holiday” section.
In store after store, I’ve answered the clerk’s “Have a Nice Day” with a cheerful “Merry Christmas”—only to have her smile, glare, or whisper a weak “You, too.” Store clerks are not permitted to say “Merry Christmas” in 2012.
There is no Christmas music in the mall. There are few homes celebrating the season this year with a profusion of outdoor lights.
Our nation has become so self-conscious about public expressions of faith, that it seems to me the blessed Christmas season is disappearing in favor of a nonjudgmental McHoliday.
I hope that my little corner of the world—and yours, too—might be a joyful exception, a place where the Reason for the Season is given a place of highest honor.
May the love of the Christ Child warm your heart, and may you and your family experience His joy and His peace, in this holy season and throughout the year.