My Elusive Search for the Baby Jesus

I get that Christmas means different things to different people.  What I don’t get is that there is not equal time given to the actual reason for the celebration.

It’s time for the Springers to “put up” Christmas, and since it’s been such a good year, I’ve decided to update some of my worn out janky-looking Christmas accoutrements including the Nativity scene I purchased at Walmart about 20 years ago.  Joseph broke in half a long time ago, so I subbed in a worthy-looking shepherd for him ever since (not sure how Mary felt about this, but he seemed like a utility player), both oxen are missing their ears, and for some reason, there are only two wise men.

(I think the other one—the one who brought the myrrh—must have been embarrassed by the ordinary nature of his gift.  This was before the current obsession with essential oils, so Myrrh Man, if you’re somewhere hiding in the attic, it’s okay to come out now.  Essential oils are a thing now.)

And because I was there to buy laundry detergent, tampons, and dog food, I swung by Walmart’s dedicated acre of Christmas crap in search of some JV players to fill out the varsity bench of my Nativity scene.  Or, as a last resort, I’d retire the current team and purchase a new one, maybe get some bigger, stronger players and a better, sturdier barn for them to play in.  Like I said, it’s been a good year.

After all, Jesus is the reason for the season, right?

Wrong.  I found *Disney character ornaments and other assorted Disney-themed Christmas stuff (‘stuff’ being the optimal word here—some of this shizz was pure junk), plenty of IU and Colts ornaments (I live in Indianapolis), stockings, and bric-a-brac, a lot of nonsense tchotchkes that had absolutely no relevance at all to the birth of our Savior, and even gifts for the family pet.  As if.

I found the same situation at other retail outlets.  There may have been one or two vague, one-dimensional, and poorly proportioned representations of the Holy Family, such as stuff one places in the yard (like the deer who often wind up posed in provocative mating rituals), but no Nativity scene.

Growing up, my dad, ever the craftsman, carefully and lovingly made several crèches—tabletop-sized displays of the Nativity (he made the barn part; my mom found the principals somewhere and I always found them fascinating).  Not sure where those beautifully made stables ended up, but whoever has them, take care of them (and if you have two, holla).  Because you won’t find anything like that ever again.

I finally found a Nativity scene at Kohl’s and guess what?  It was half off.

(Aside:  Why doesn’t Kohl’s just price their items at the current sale price?  The jig is up.  You’re not fooling anyone.)

This Nativity scene is white with gold accents, and the oxen are whimsical-looking, but at least they have ears.  Baby Jesus has one foot kicking out of his little nest, and I thought that was adorable.  But here’s the thing.

Kohl’s has an enormous space dedicated to their Christmas products, but there were only two varieties of Nativity scenes.  Again, like it’s lesser-educated drunk uncle across the street, Kohl’s had the Disney-themed crap, the sports-themed ornaments, the Dickensian villages (never quite got the allure of the “village” thing), and a few other secular items that had nothing to do with the birth of our Savior.

I get that Christmas means different things to different people.  What I don’t get is that there is not equal time given to the actual reason for the celebration.  And yes, I get, too, that Jesus was most likely born on a day that was not December 25, but that’s when we metaphorically blow out the candles on His birthday cake.  You got any better ideas?

I found my Nativity scene.  But the problem should have been that there were so many varieties in so many different retail establishments that I lost my mind trying to make a decision about which one I would proudly display in my home for the next 20 years.

*Full disclosure:  There is very little about Disney that I like.  Get over it.