So yesterday we set out to Home Depot to get a Christmas Tree and lights for our house, and a Nativity to put in the front yard as part of the Christmas decorations. We found the trees, we found the lights, but could not find a nativity. I asked an employee, who was working in their seasonal department where I could find a nativity. She stared at me blankly, then said, "I'm sorry this is going to sound stupid, but what's that?" I thought maybe she didn't hear me correctly. "A Nativity...." She replied, "Yeah, I don't know what that is." So I explained, "Ya know, like statues of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus." "Oh alright, alright, here ya go." She said as she led me to a box that contained a beautiful nativity to put under a tree. I asked if there was one that could go outside. She said, "I'm pretty sure you could put this outside and it would be fine." Well gee lady, I'm sure I could, but the figures were about 12 inches, and it wasn't exactly what I had in mind!
I looked around at the holiday displays and was getting angrier and angrier. I mean they had a pig with a Santa hat! A peacock! Any cartoon character from Spongebob to Big Bird! But no where could I find a baby Jesus!
Now I understand many people who aren't Christian celebrate Christmas just because it's fun. I also understand that you can trace all these holidays we Christians celebrate back to some pagan holiday, and Christ wasn't even really born in December if you look at history and blah blah blah. But it makes my heart sad that more people than not feel this way about Christmas. It makes me think about how they kicked prayer out of schools, and mentioning religion in anyway is "offensive" and people make a big stink about it. And now we're kicking Jesus out of his own holiday, and replacing him with Spongebob.
I don't know. I feel like reserving a month of the year to focus on the greatest gift the world was ever given is a great thing. And I can't change the world and direction things seem to be going. But I can do what I can in my life and for my family to try to make this time more about the Savior and less about pigs in Santa hats.
Step one was teaching my children what the word Nativity meant. Just in case they ever end up Home Depot employees some day!
Step two ... I decided personally I'm going to try to work on developing more Christ like attributes. Each week I'm picking a different attribute and focusing on building that throughout the week. This week's attribute is compassion. I'll let you know how it goes.