In the Beginning
It all started out as a simple enough idea. All we were going to do was skip Christmas this year. We had no reason not to. We are both broke; Elisabeth is only a little over a year old, so she won’t remember; Rebekah and Caleb are staying in New York with their mother and step-father this year; and Robyn and I have been extremely busy over the past few months. Not having to deal with all of the additional work of decorating, buying gifts, and generally being “jolly” was going to be a relief. On top of that, we have both been desperately trying to fight the tide of consumerism in our culture. Taking a break from Christmas this year would go a long way to breaking that cycle.
Or so we thought.
As I sat and pondered exactly what to do with this newfound resolve, I realized that skipping Christmas was going to be difficult. Yet I was even more sure that it was the right thing to do. But my mind wasn’t completely made up until that last trip to Target.
One evening, Robyn and I took the baby to Target to pick up a few needed items. It was before Thanksgiving, but they had all ready put up their “Holiday Season” display. There were a full twelve aisles of “holiday” decorations, “holiday” necessities, and various fake trees in all sorts of “holiday” colors. Upon closer inspection, I found the word “Christmas” printed in a few places such as on some of the “holiday” wrapping paper and “holiday” cards. And way in the back, on one four-foot section of shelving, I found the three different nativities that were being sold in that store.
To be honest, I was neither upset or surprised by all of this. Retail stores have been struggling with the secular nature of the “Holiday Season” and have wondered what to do about the “Christmas” part of it. Some companies, like Wal-Mart, have chosen to stay with the traditional “Merry Christmas” while many other companies have chosen to go with the more politically-correct “Happy Holidays”. I wasn’t even bothered that the nativities were neatly hidden in the back of the store.
But what did bother me is that there wasn’t any sign of any of the other holidays in the “Holiday Season” display. Nothing at all existed for those that were celebrating Kwanza. And what little existed in the store for Hanukkah wasn’t found in the “Holiday Season” section. I found it all halfway across the store on the end of the office supplies aisle.
So it seems that the “Holiday Season” according to Target has something to do with the birth of Christ, but they don’t want to come right out and say it. It’s the hidden meaning behind it all. Which made it easy for me to skip Christmas this year.
Robyn and I made a promise to each other as we stood in those aisles trying to find the word “Christmas” associated with all of those decorations and fake trees. This was NOT how we were going to raise Elisabeth. We would not succumb to the temptation of making Christmas something that it is not. Now, more than ever, it was important for us to put our foot down. We were going to SKIP CHRISTMAS!!
Now, what am I going to tell everyone.