Friday, December 13, 2013

Lots of Decor, but No Context

We hear a lot about generics these days. Everything from prescription drugs to clothing has a no-name brand. The big draw is the lower price tag.

I've discovered another kind of generic: the generic holiday. Decorations adorn stores without the context of its meaning. In one store, the decorations were linked with the word, "dream." Ah yes, dream of those clothes and household items, and put them in your cart.

I'm sad today. I miss the Christmas Carols playing, the Merry Christmas greetings, the warmth of society celebrating one of the singular events in history - the birth of Jesus. We're left with the trappings of a holy-day, stripped bare of its meaning.

As a believer, I've committed to keep things in context. While I enjoy the decor and the fun, I'm in awe of the greatest gift I've ever received: forgiveness and a relationship with the One who created heaven and earth, Jesus Christ.

Writers and Readers: Has "generic holiday" sprung up among your retailers? What are some of the things you miss from past celebrations?

Photo Credit: suzz86


JD said...

The Christmas cards I create online every year with pictures of my family say, "Merry Christmas" on them. Not "Happy Holidays," or anything like that. I stick to my guns on that one. :-)

The fact that Christ has been taken out of Christmas bothers me immensely. One of the (several) reasons my husband and I pulled our daughter out of our local public school is because us parents were told one year not to send in gifts for the class during Christmas if the gifts had a picture of Santa on them because "Santa is too religious." That was just ridiculous! Yet, the same public school was teaching my daughter about religious holidays from foreign nations, which is perfectly fine, but not at the expense of omitting a major holiday celebrated by most people in *this* nation.

I can go on and on about this, but you get the picture. :-) All we can do is continue keeping Christ in Christmas and hope that others do the same.

A timely post!

Jean Fischer said...

AMEN!!!! I could write a book about this....and maybe I will. I grew up in the 50s in an old German neighborhood. I remember carolers coming to our house and my grandmother meeting them at the door with mugs of egg nog. I remember busy downtown stores with the Salvation Army band playing on street corners, and people wishing each other a Merry Christmas. Christmas Eve was a holy night with candles burning and reading the Christmas story in the bible. Yes, i remember the real meaning of Christmas, and I still keep it in my heart.

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Oh Susan, I so understand your sadness, I found myself not wanting to decorate, because it has lost its meaning. Everyone is doing it, abundantly... and they don't even know what they are celebrating.
Well, today I decorated my mantel piece... yes, I did. because I am celebrating the eternal life He has given me.
Happy weekend!

Terri Tiffany said...

I miss it too and yes it has sprung up all around us. I doubt very few people know why we celebrate Christmas. It is sad!

Karen Lange said...

I saw something on Facebook (and I think I shared it too) that Ben Stein wrote along these lines. He spoke of Christmas, but also about the principle in general. It's interesting to see how offense has in part, been the cause of much of diluted beliefs and whatnot.

Have a great weekend,

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Everyone -

I think so many of us are sad, but we can make a difference. How? By being who we are - Christians.

1) Wish cashiers, servers, and anyone else you encounter a Merry Christmas. They may not be able to initiate such an exchange, but you can.

2) Keep Jesus in the forefront of your celebrations.

3) Send out cards that point to the true significance of Christmas.

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox. :)


Debra Mayhew said...

Hi, Susan! You are not alone in your sadness over what Christmas has become. I agree with the other comments...all I can do is keep Christ at the center of our celebration with daily devotion and prayer, and meditation on the birth of Christ. We do our best to keep the focus off Santa and on Christ for our children. One of the best things I do to keep Christmas meaningful is to stay out of the retail stores this time of year. Those are the places I really feel it's stripped of it's true meaning. Thanks for your lovely post - you encouraged me today!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Ah yes, Susan, very much so. In fact, a customer at my office supply store recently asked for "Christmas" stationery. I had some with Scriptures and photos of Bibles, but she wanted snowmen and ornaments! She wanted generic, not Jesus.

It makes me sad, too. But I try to balance it by praying for people to find our lovely Savior, and keeping Christmas carols on in the store and in my heart.


Sandi said...

This year I heard more merry Christmases than I have ....ever. And every store clerk I said it to said it back to me with a smile.

Maybe it's a movement! :) I like to think so.

I had one delivery person say, "Mer...uh, happy holidays!" Haha....well, half a Merry Christmas is still good. Besides, holiday comes from holy day, doesn't it?