Putting All 3 C’s Back In Christmas
I acknowledge that I am not a natural with the Christmas thing; I am, in fact, sometimes quite the Grinch.
Julie,1 on the other hand, took genuine delight in the holiday,2 as do a number of my friends and family. Consequently, I make a counterphobic effort this time of year to modulate my inclination to reflexively broadcast
venomously sarcastic rants witty observations on seasonal customs and practices and strive instead to drink the eggnog if not the Kool-Aid of Yuletide cheer.
This exercise in self-restraint has not been uniformly successful.
My strategy this year is to exorcise my demons of derision in a sequence of three posts, one addressing each of the three primary proponents (i.e., the titular “3 C’s”) of Christmas:3
- Christianity (AKA Protestantism): Today
- Catholicism:4 30 November 2006 (Tentatively)
- Commercialism: 1 December 2006 (Even More Tentatively)
Afterwards, I’ll try to play nice.
Today, we’ll be talking about
Jesus, Gingerbread Men, Christmas Lights, and Blue Springs, Missouri
There are, of course, Gingerbread Men in lights directing traffic to the site as well as an abundance of Santas and their entourages. But, it’s Jesus and the guys & gals of Galilee who are in the center ring.
Mr. Science and Hippie With Tiara, who have the good fortune to live within driving distance of this megawatt inspiration, inform me that locally this has been a well known spectacle and pre-Christmas destination for many years. They first took their own children to view this display5 so long ago that the only scenes in lights were those from the Nativity story.
More recently, you see, those responsible for this show, undaunted by exhausting the narrative of the birth of Baby Jesus, have added an Easter Pageant, featuring that wacky Gethsemane gang, in glowing bulbs.
My favorite tableau follows:
This is also a favorite of the folks at Ship of Fools, who last year named the Blue Springs display their 12 Days Of Kitchmas winner.
It wouldn’t be Christmas unless we blissfully burned up limited reserves of non-renewable energy. After all, the shepherds had angelic hosts, the wise men had a star – so bring on those flashing, rooftop Santas. At least in Blue Springs, Missouri, they’ve gone beyond the usual fare. Passing motorists are invited to rubberneck the blood-soaked scourging of Christ – a Mel Gibson-inspired Bible belting of truly epic proportions. Like it or loathe it, it’s a discussion starter and earns this year’s top award.
By the way, it’s worth visiting Ship of Fools site to appreciate the impact of adding, as they have, the sound of a cracking whip to the animation.
Bendystraw at Flickr has a dandy slide show of perhaps a dozen photos from the Blue Springs presentation that can be viewed at The Life Of Jesus In Christmas Lights
- Julie was my much-beloved, fiercely smart, extraordinarily sexy wife, who died in 1999 from cancer diagnosed the week of our wedding nearly 20 years earlier. She was also a prize-winning writer. This blog includes many other posts about her and the unlikely but true story of our romance as well as several of her short stories and other pieces. For the location of the various content about or by Julie, see Julie FAQ. [↩]
- I have a Merry Christmas anecdote or two about Julie and Christmas I’ll proffer in another post [↩]
- An additional advantage of these tactics is that today’s and tomorrow’s posts are, in part, recycled material I originally e-mailed to buddies last year [↩]
- As the Duke of Derm has sagely remarked, “Christianity may came and go, but Catholicism is here to stay” [↩]
- They did not tell me if this journey was a punishment for or perhaps a warning to the youngsters or the reactions of the little ones, and, frankly, I was afraid to ask [↩]