Written by: Theresa Gilbert

I haven’t written for the blog in a while and I have recently become inspired – here is the first of a three part series on Christmas. (Read post 2 and post 3)

I was thrilled to see my local Canadian Tire promoting that they are “Canada’s Christmas Store” with a large banner outside. I was much less thrilled to see how Wal-Mart and Fortinos (grocery store) decided to take on this “holiday”, “season”, “festive” time… “magic”?

Fortinos claims that “The Holidays Start Here”, but I had a hard time finding out what holiday they were referring to despite many festive items such as “Tree Treats” and “Holiday Mix” from M&Ms. I did stumble upon some Advent Calendars that had nothing to do with preparing for Jesus’ birth and everything to do with Santa, snow and presents. At least in the Hallmark card section they confidently proclaimed Christmas as happening on December 25th with many cards to choose from. A quick glance and I found one with a cartoon nativity for children.

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But, wait, it gets better! Wal-Mart’s signage throughout the store told me to “Taste the magic”, “Wear the magic” and “Inspire the magic”. Hmmm. What “magic” are they referring to?

But, WAIT! It gets even better… or worse. I walked up and down each aisle in their “magic” section. I was looking for garland and an outdoor wreath and stumbled upon figures of the nativity. Wonderful, right? No, these lovely figures were carelessly in a pile on a shelf that they were not even supposed to be on. Baby Jesus’ tiny foot was broken off! Well, I could not leave Jesus, Mary and Joseph in a pile so I fixed them up in their small space with the three kings.

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I wonder how Jesus feels that His birthday has been hijacked to be a commercialized and material, feel-good, “festive season”? I think it would be like my family having a big party and giving gifts to each other on my birthday but completely forgetting about me. Only worse, because I did not die on a cross for all of their sins like Jesus has done for all of us.

Was it this bad last year? Or am I just more aware of it? Here’s my plan. I invite you to join me.

  • Patronize stores and companies that dare to use the word “Christmas” in their promotions. Let them know that is why you choose to shop there.
  • At any store with “holiday” items, ask where the nativity sets, religious items and items that say “Merry Christmas” are to show there is interest for them. Ask to speak with a manager.
  • If you are wished a “Happy Holiday” or some other generic thing, confidently reply with a cheery “Merry Christmas!”

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