Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Holy Family vs. Your Family?

In what I think was a brave move, Fr. Jim Martin, S.J., has called for an end to the practice of putting family photos on the front of Christmas cards.

He threw down this gauntlet Friday on NPR in a spot titled "More Virgin Mary, Less Virgin Islands." One passage:

But I enjoy the photos more when they're inside the card, not the card itself. Because more and more, even devout Christians have been replacing Jesus, Mary and Joseph with themselves. Doesn't it strike you as weird to set aside the Holy Family in favor of your family? Does a photo of Cabo San Lucas trump the story told by the original San Lucas? Is Christmas really about you?

I agree with Fr. Jim. I prefer traditional Christmas cards, too. But, I must say, this is the closest to curmudgeonly I've ever seen this friendly Jesuit.

Hat-tip: The Anchoress

1 comment:

HowiTown said...

I think for some people, myself included, a family picture on the outside of the card is a way to let all those people who haven't seen you in months and months get to see your family again. And in today's expanding world of religious freedom, to assume that all people are of your particular belief is just rude. Even between Christians there are large gaps that separate us.

I send out postcards of the kids every holiday season, not to replace the image of the Holy Family with my family, but because I haven't sent out a Christmas card with a religious picture on the front in whoknowshowmany years. And what's better, a stupid Christmas tree or wreath that everyone will throw away b/c they've already gotten 10 of, or an individual picture of your family with a choice statement on the inside?

And if you really think about it, how Christian-like is card-sending for Christmas in the first place? I seriously doubt anyone did it in former times and can pretty much bet on the fact that most people hate sending Christmas cards. They're so fake, impersonal and recited. Pick out a card, write Merry Christmas, sign your name. Very few people do more than that.

Not very much to do with the Holy Family, even if the Holy Family is depicted, in some manner, on the front.