What happened to the baby in the manger — the symbol of Christmas?
Today I went to Michael’s in Bellevue, TN, looking for a small nativity scene for a Christmas craft I was making for a friend. They had a large $49 nativity scene, and they had a few gilded camels (but no wise men). There was one set of resin nativity figures ready for painting and one wall Christmas plaque with the holy family, but that was it. I even checked with the manager to make sure I had found all the Christmas figures. The $49 nativity scene was too big for what I had in mind as were the ready-to-paint figures, and the gilded camels were much larger.
There were only two nativity wall plaques left, and I bought both of them, but there were no small creches or manger scenes to be found, no individual figures, no nativity scenes other than the one large set.
What happened to the baby Jesus in the manger? Did He get lost along the way? Where are Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the three kings?
Where is the Christ Child at Christmas?
I remember going into 5¢ and dime stores in the 1960s, and drug stores in the 70s and 80s and finding little manger scenes in plastic, wood and glass. Today you might be able to find a snow globe with an angel or a light-up digital angel acrylic at Walgreens. The local Sears has a snow globe for 2012 with a manger scene, and Michaels has their $49 nativity set, but everything else is Santas, poinsettias, elves, Christmas trees… and a flying pink pig with a halo at Sears.
Don’t get me wrong: I love the angles, Santas, poinsettias, elves, Christmas trees, lights and other decorations, although that pink pig and his halo might have to go, but where are the manger scenes? Shouldn’t a craft store have a small variety of nativity figures in different sizes? Shouldn’t department stores have a few manger scenes among the other trappings of Christmas? Shouldn’t drug stores offer some Christmas token besides digital angels?
Christmas decorations started going up before Halloween in some stores, and now all the stores are in full Christmas sales mode, but something is missing. What happened to the baby in the manger?
Shame on all you stores taking advantage of Christmas sales but not presenting your customers with some nativity scenes. The wall plaques at Michael’s were obviously good sellers since I got the last two. So why aren’t stores selling more creches and nativity scenes for Christmas?
I, for one, am NOT happy with the lack of manger scenes in all the stores that want me to spend my money on Christmas gifts with them. I will be looking for stores that present at least a modest selection of nativity scenes in more than one size to get my hard-earned dollars at Christmas.
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