Christmas Purge

Farewell, Christmas! How the Grinch Stole Christmas asked the right question for our time, “Where are you, Christmas? Why can’t I find you?” The great purge of Christmas symbols is complete at my craft store.

What is most important about Christmas, or any holiday? Look at the symbols. Symbols expose the core of a celebration. This makes the loss of symbols a cultural wound.

The once-common symbols of Christmas included Visual and Verbal Icons.
Visual: Manger, Star, Stable, Angels, Shepherds, Magi, Holy Family, Camels, Sheep
Verbal: Jesus, Savior, Joy to the World

Most Americans celebrate Christmas. Thirty to forty percent of Americans attend church frequently. In the name of profit, why wouldn’t a store increase sales by offering the symbols that people associate with the holiday? In ancient Bethlehem, there was no room for Baby Jesus in an inn. In my craft store, there is no room for Jesus anywhere. Also, no room for Manger, Star, Stable, Angels, Shepherds, Magi, Camels or Sheep.

Instead, what are the symbols of Christmas according to my local craft store this year?

The symbols of Christmas in Gift Bags are:
Visual: Snowman, Owl, Snowflake, Santa Claus
Verbal: Ho Ho, Happy Holidays, Joy, Noel, Peace

Gift bags.jpg

The symbols of Christmas in Gift Boxes are:
Visual: Snowman, Penguin, Santa Claus, Hat, Bells, Wreath
Verbal: Ho Ho Ho, Merry, Merry Christmas, Joy to the World

Gift boxes.jpg

The symbols of Christmas in the Gift Cards are:
Visual: Snowman, Evergreen Tree, Reindeer, Snowflake

The craft store does respect Hanukkah with the image of a Menorah.

Gift cards

The symbols of Christmas in Cookie Tins are:
Visual: Snowman, Reindeer, Santa Clause
Verbal: Ho Ho Ho, Love Sweet Holiday, Peace Love Joy

Gift tins.jpg

The symbols of Christmas in Wrapping Paper are:
Visual: Snowflakes

Gift wrap.jpg

The symbols of Christmas in Christmas Tree Decorations are:
Visual: Snowflake, Sleigh, Bell, Sleigh Bell, Wreath, Stocking
Verbal: Joy, Season of Jolly, Holly Jolly Christmas

Trinkets.jpg

Farewell, Christmas!

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About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
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