Rebecca and I felt we might offend too many people by releasing this post – not sure why? This year has seen a roller coaster of emotions for us with Savanna, which has changed our perspective about many things – (so here goes, a bit late, sorry!)
Looking for Christ in Christmas this year.
This is Rebecca. I just wanted to share a recent experience with you, and see if you too have noticed the same thing and would be willing to stand up with me on an issue that I hold dear. I’m really disturbed that our country continues to eliminate Christian values, symbols, and traditions from our national psyche. As Christians and non-radicals, we all tend to tolerate the consistent and deliberate removal of Christian traditions from our culture. I must say that I think this is horribly wrong. Our country is unique among nations throughout the history of the world. It offers hope, freedom, and opportunities unattainable in most parts of the world. There are many reasons for this, but I believe that the main one is that we were founded on Christian values.
For our 1st Christmas as a married couple, my mom gave us a nativity set. It wasn’t fancy, rather it was durable. She knew how much my brothers, my sister, and I had enjoyed playing with the figures of Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, the sheep, Shepherds, and Baby Jesus when we were young. We always had to wait until Christmas morning to see Baby Jesus, as Santa Clause would bring him and place him in the manger while we were sleeping. I began this same tradition with my family, and last year, some weeks after Christmas, Tristan and Brandon were playing with Baby Jesus, Power Rangers, monsters, and Spiderman on their swing set in the back yard. Baby Jesus took a number of turns down the sliding board and on the swings as he was the ultimate hero in most of their adventures.
It’s no surprise then, that when we went to put our Christmas decorations away, Baby Jesus was nowhere to be found. I think he’s buried somewhere in the back yard of our house in CA. I assured the kids that we would find another one this year, but to my surprise and true disappointment, I can only find figures of a Baby Jesus that comes out of the manger on e-Bay. It really struck me as Tristan, Brandon, and I combed through the aisles of Wal-mart, Target, Macys, and several other stores. We see all of the sparkly Christmas decorations, stockings, presents, ornaments, candy canes, wreaths, blow-up santas, reindeer, etc, but we can’t find a Baby Jesus anywhere. When we do find the rare Nativity Set, it’s often hidden in the back on a bottom shelf or the only sets available are priced well over $100.00. It’s been eye opening to watch other shoppers faces as Tristan (4) and Brandon (3) walk up and down the aisles searching and innocently calling out, “Baby Jesus, where are you?…Baby Jesus, where are you? …” and then listening to the palpable disappointment in their voices when they say, “Mommy, we can’t find Him anywhere.” Or,”Mommy, why is Baby Jesus so expensive?”
Maybe I’m a bit more sensitive this year than I use to be, for circumstantial reasons, but my greatest Christmas gift ever was Ken bringing Savanna home from the hospital last year on Christmas day. The only way Ken & I and the kids have made it through the last 12 months is because Jesus has carried us both, like you think of in the Footprints story.
I’ve made a decision for my family this year, and there may be far fewer presents under the tree because of it, but I’m on a mission to get our country to put Christ back in Christmas. Here’s what I’m going to do. We are going to make a conscious effort to only spend our money in stores that include Jesus and the Nativity or at least Charity in their Christmas catalogs and /or primary displays. This may seem radical, but I think a radical approach is necessary to help our society wake up. We are going to start this year, and I’d like to ask you to consider joining me this year or next to make this a real cause for Christianity and for our country’s future between now and Christmas 2013.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no desire to boycott Christmas. It has always been my very favorite holiday. I’m one of the crazy fools that likes seeing Christmas displays put up in October, and I don’t get tired of playing Christmas music over & over until my tortured husband begs & pleads with me to stop (in February). I like presents, gifts, friends, family, and the novelties of modern day Christmas. I just want my children to know why we are really celebrating.
The web site www.ChristInChristmas.co has free downloadable Christmas cards that the kids can color.
Please feel free to share our story above with your friends, families, co-workers, neighbors, and churches. Together, we can make a difference. We have more opportunities than just elections to do this. When retailers feel the effect through the power of our collective shopping dollars or lack thereof during the holidays and throughout the year, the prominence of Christ will come back into Christmas.
Yours in gratitude,