Sunday, December 17, 2006

I just saw ...

... a giant, inflatable, illuminated Winnie-the-Pooh, wearing a Santa hat.

And I wondered. What would A.A.Milne have thought? Would he be amused that his creation had taken on a life of its own and was now competing with snowmen, santas and reindeer in the oversize Christmas lights market? Would he be offended that his bear had been given the Disney treatment and turned into merchandise?

And I also wondered ... where is the line? At what point do Christmas decorations cross the boundary between the non-religious and the irreligious? We don't have a large number of decorations because of Tevye's Jewish sensibilities - a tree, a Nativity scene (two this year, as Little Cherub has her own soft, squishy, chewable one), cards and a few oddments; no lights, except on the tree. What we do have is a mix of the religious and the secular. Our tree has a sprinkling of Nativity ornaments and angels, mixed in with snowmen, stockings, teddies, Santa sacks, and other miscellaneous baubles (the style is decidedly eclectic!). All - or almost all - have some sort of wintry or traditional Christmas association. But Winnie-the-Pooh? I can see a few cute Christmassy Winnie-the-Pooh tree ornaments, mixed in with other things. But what about an entire tree trimmed with Disney characters? Or the aforesaid giant bear? When does it get so far away from the real focus of Christmas that it begins to take away from the spirit of Christmas? Maybe it doesn't ... maybe only a Christmas decoration that is actually offensive or sinful would do that. Maybe Winnie-the-enormous is just a lighthearted bit of fun. But he made me wonder.

5 comments:

Katherine in TX said...

You should see what they're doing in Texas! Huge wooden Disney-themed stand-ups lining the yards. Blech!

The Bookworm said...

Eek! It hasn't gone that far here ... yet! Outside decorations have only taken off in a big way in the last few years, but the UK is racing headlong to catch up with the US.

Anonymous said...

My DH said the other day that a person from another country would think we worship deer! Deer made from a wooden frame and slung with lights are definately the predominate yard decoration around here. Too windy for inflatables!!

KS

Jennifer in TX said...

Oh, Kathryn, that's nothing. Katherine is right--here deep in the heart of Texas, I guess most Texans feel they have to overcompensate for no snow at Christmas by having these huge inflatable snowglobes (literally the size of a small merry go round), anything and everthing "holidayish" but the nativities and tasteful lights are few and far between--and we have one neighbor who put up his inflatables and lights the 3rd week in November!! YUCK!!!!!!!

Karen E. said...

I do not think Milne would be amused.