Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas creeps - part 1 

The Christmas shopping season has begun! Noodles and I ventured out to do some shopping today and I've already got the creeps. Actually, I've had two creepy moments, one today and one earlier in the month. That earlier one was the "Beautiful Girlhood" catalog that I mentioned two weeks ago now. The actual name of the company is The Vision Forum. Somehow we got on their mailing list and every year they send us a catalog showcasing their books and videos and toys. The feeling I get when looking at their catalog is creepy. On one hand, I should be in agreement with their philosophy--they're all for encouraging strong, Christian families; for living up to one's ideals and raising one's kids to do the same. The problem is, they come across as so limited. To them, the proper strong, Christian family is one with stereotypical manly men and fragile women. It's an American family, of course, from one of the Southern states. Papa was a soldier, or at least reads books about them. Mama has lots of pretty dresses and makes a beautiful home. Again, I should be in agreement. There's nothing wrong with any of those things. The problem is, both America and Christendom is so much more than what they offer in their catalog. They have books about "Stonewall" Jackson, but nothing about Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. You can dress your doll as Puritan girl or a Medieval princess, but if you want to dress her as an Italian immigrant, you're out of luck. I can buy all sorts of toys to let my nephew pretend to be a soldier from various eras, but there's nothing to let him pretend to be a doctor or a farmer.* When I flip through the pages of the catalog, I have to wonder why. Maybe they're just filling a niche market. Or maybe they're ideals are just limited to the picture their catalog paints. Or maybe the Vision Forum just pushes the right buttons to unleash my own prejudices. I don't know. All I know is that every year when the catalog arrives we have a day or two of eye rolling and, at least for me, a case of the creeps. But it could be worse. God willing, I'll get to that tomorrow.
*Okay, I have to admit that my nephew would undoubtedly much prefer the three-man slingshot to a doctor kit. Heck, I would, too.