Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas cards

I'll admit from the beginning, that I am a terrible Christmas card writer. I'm lazy and reluctant, and I usually think of it way too late, so my Christmas cards (the few I get around to sending) always arrive after Christmas. But today I wanted a card to send to my aunts along with the jar of homemade mincemeat I cooked up a few days ago, so I went to the drugstore to get a box. I looked through all the boxes of cards, and I was stunned to find that, out of about 50 designs, there was only ONE explicitly religious design available. And it was a sort of childlike picture of chubby-cheeked children looking over the baby in the manger, with animals around. Nothing else - no pictures of Mary and Joseph, no reproductions of classic Nativity paintings, no Three Wise Men travelling across the desert, no Star - nothing. Just Santas and Christmas trees and birds and ornaments.

It's not that I was particularly WANTING a religious card (I ended up getting a 50s-style retro Christmas tree design), but I've never seen such a complete obliteration of the traditional designs in a collection of cards for sale. Yes, I know it was the drugstore, not a Hallmark card shop, but still - in the past, the designs were always about 50/50. I found this energetic secularism really quite unnerving.

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