What’s So Offensive About a Nativity Set?

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.

Merry Christmas.

  • http://ikeepmymemorieshere.blogspot.com/ Ruth Ann Pilney

    I have noticed that, too, Kathy.

  • Rover Serton

    I suspect if there was more money in the Creche there would be more available. I would prefer them over the blow up carolers or the Santa in a blow up plane (with moving propeller!).

    From the title, I though you were going to talk about Creche’s on public property. A refreshing change.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey Jason Mankey

    I don’t know where you’re shopping or living, but it seems like a parallel universe. I live in Northern California outside of San Francisco and my Target has a giant sign up that says “Merry Christmas.” Place like “The Dollar Store” and “Big Lots” have several Nativity scenes to choose from. Many of my neighbors have extensive holiday light collections up and all of the stores I visit tend to play Christmas Carols. I do think the Holiday Seasons has been dampened by last week’s tragedy in Connecticut, but I don’t think Christmas is being ignored this year.

  • Sherry

    I too was looking for a Nativity set. I went to Walmart, lowes, Target, and Kmart, and there were none. It is a sad comment on what is happening, and I am not overly religious. Geeze Louise. This is Christmas, there is a reason for part of the word to be “Christ”

  • Johanne Newell

    I have a problem with Christmas being celebrated during advent. Or before. I like the idea of wishing clerks Merry Christmas, really I do… but I like to wait until after Dec. 25. And then, the decorations are down, and I just don’t have it in me to spend 12 days explaining how Christmas doesn’t end until Jan. 6.

    We try really hard to not listen to Christmas music until Christmas either.

  • Bra Ndi

    I went to Walmart today to buy a scene and all they have is a set that you piece together yourself, and it is cheap… I was told they are not allowed to sell them. I bought one at Walmart 6 years ago that was BEAUTIFUL and it is a shame what they are doing now!!!