Tuesday, December 13, 2005

‘Carrot’ we all get along?

By Deana Nall
Baytown Sun

Published December 14, 2005

Oh, for heaven’s sake. Everybody have some egg nog and calm down.

Why is it that after 33 Christmases I’ve observed, this is the first year people are about to come to blows over what it should be called? Did we run out of things to gripe about this year?

So Target is selling holiday trees and holiday decorations. Does this mean we have to declare an all-out war? I was at Wal-Mart the other day and a greeter looked me square in the eye and declared, “Merry CHRISTMAS!” So I guess we know where they stand.

The truth is that nobody holds a monopoly on this time of year. Christmas means the birth of Christ to me, but it may not to you, and that’s OK. Pass the cheese ball. We can still be friends.

What bothers me the most about this silly controversy is the way it overshadows concerns that I think are a little more valid.

For example, the Veggie Tales Nativity Set.

If you’re out of the loop on Veggie Tales, let me explain. Veggie Tales is a series of videos that teach kids about morals and values through Bible stories. Vegetables, and an occasional grape play all the characters. At our house, we happen to be big fans of Veggie Tales. We have “Esther,” in which the Jewish race is saved by a green onion, and “Where’s God When I’m Scared?” which features, among other things, a cucumber named Daniel being thrown into the lions’ den.

(Keep in mind that these are real Bible stories being acted out by pretend vegetables. We all know that if you’re a cucumber, you should fare pretty well around a bunch of lions. If you’re a prime rib, then you’ve got problems.)

Anyway, back to the real controversy. Big Idea, the company that owns Veggie Tales, is marketing a nativity set made up of Veggie Tales characters. The wise men are a cucumber, a grape and some sort of squash. There’s an asparagus shepherd. Mary and Joseph are gourds. Here’s the part that gets me: Wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the manger, is a baby carrot.

That’s right, folks. The Christ child, the long-awaited Savior of the world, is also an excellent source of beta-carotene and dietary fiber. Does this bother anyone else?

Meanwhile, the battle of the discount stores rages. Personally, I’d like to put a Target cashier and a Wal-Mart greeter in a room together and let them duke it out with their holiday/Christmas greetings.

But I’d better do it quickly. I predict that by next year, Target will have figured out that “holidays” actually means “holy days” and they’ll have to find another greeting.

In another couple of Decembers, we’ll see banners stretched out across storefronts that say, “WE GIVE UP. WE’RE SKIPPING AHEAD TO SOMETHING LESS CONTROVERSIAL, LIKE KIDS DRESSING UP AS DEVILS FOR HALLOWEEN.”

Whatever you believe or don’t believe about the first Christmas, there’s a nice little concept that came out of it known as “Peace on Earth.” I think this would be a good year to try it out.

And pass the eggnog back this way.


  • At Tue Dec 13, 09:19:00 PM, Blogger Sarah P said…

    I've said it a zillion times, I'll say it again: You are hilarious.
    I can only hope to be a Deanita someday...
    Props on your column. Looking forward to seeing you very soon.

  • At Wed Dec 14, 06:51:00 AM, Blogger Meredith said…

    Where can I find a Veggie Tale nativity set? My kids love Veggie Tales. The carrot being Jesus does not bother me. He is in character. I think people get into such an uproar about the religious side of Christmas because they are afraid that the Christian community is going to push their values on them like the Gay/Lesbian communtiy does. All I want to do is express myself freely, being that the Constitution gives me that priviledge.

  • At Wed Dec 14, 01:35:00 PM, Blogger "Snapshot" said…

    Who new that Jesus also meets our recommended daily allowances of many vitamins and minerals!
    Awesome blog!

  • At Wed Dec 14, 02:00:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    Meredith, you can go to, but it says they're out of stock. You might try Ebay, or just google it and see what you find.

    You know, it's funny -- I know several gay people who have never forced their views on me. I also know several Christians who are always trying to tell me how to vote, what books to read or not to read, what movies to see, etc. I really think all that comes down to what kind of people they are, and not necessarily the beliefs to which they subscribe.

  • At Wed Dec 14, 04:21:00 PM, Blogger SG said…

    I vented about this a few days ago so I won't go there here. You have to wonder how the guys at Big Idea choose their veggies. Wonder if any are vegetarians or if their intimate relationship with veggies has made them all strict carnivores? And lastly...Ok I guess I am going there.. I was OK with the whole Happy Hoidays/Merry Christmas controversy until a lady told me Christians don't shop at Target because they are at "war with Christmas." Target? What sicko came up with that? Really people, can't we all just try to love each other? :)

  • At Wed Dec 14, 04:29:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    Yikes, SG! That reminds of when "Passion of the Christ" came out. I heard a woman say "I don't know how you can be a Christian and NOT want to see that movie." I still haven't seen it. Hmmm...

  • At Wed Dec 14, 07:26:00 PM, Blogger Meredith said…

    SG-- I guess I am going to Hell because I believe Target is the Holy Land!

    Deana-- I understand your point of view, I guess I have a different feeling living in the Austin area.

  • At Wed Dec 14, 07:38:00 PM, Blogger Chad said…

    Just like the old song says "He is my everything. He is my all. He is my everything, both great and small."

  • At Wed Dec 14, 08:38:00 PM, Blogger Paige Robins said…

    Yeah, the other night I was watching Futurama and they kept calling it X-mas. I was like, come on! X is Christ anyway! And X-mas just sound stupid.

  • At Wed Dec 14, 08:48:00 PM, Blogger SG said…

    Don't tell but I haven't seen "The Passion" either! I even gave the DVD to someone as a gift (they asked for it)! But I can't do it. Ihave to close my eyes in Harry Potter and StarWars and they are fiction! I shop at Target. I did not see "The Passion". AND my Walmart Photo greeting Card said "Happy Holidays!" I'm bbbbbaaadddd!

  • At Thu Dec 15, 05:41:00 AM, Blogger elizabeth said…

    The only person in my family at war with Target is my husband who doesn't understand that anytime I walk through the doors, I spend 100 dollars. It is almost impossible not to.

    As far as controversy, I just want to enjoy Christmas. I love the religious aspects, and I love the secular aspects. Life is short, and it can be hard. Why not capture the magic of it for kids as long as possible and give them great memories to store away for the rest of their lives.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Merry Xmas, whatever!

  • At Thu Dec 15, 06:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is that the Meredith I know?? If so, Hi! and I understand what you mean about people pushing their agendas on others.

    Thanks for making me laugh DNA!
    Carol P.

  • At Thu Dec 15, 06:58:00 AM, Blogger Meredith said…

    Elizabeth-- I agree with you. People need to chill. What happen to enjoying the simple things in life?

    Carol-- Yes, it's me! Hi! Hope all is well with the family. Did you ever get your family room painted/decorated? Would love to see pics.

  • At Thu Dec 15, 07:48:00 AM, Blogger Jana said…

    Deana, great column. As usual. And good comments by your readers, too! I cracked up at Elizabeth's comment that her husband was at war with Target...

  • At Thu Dec 15, 08:04:00 AM, Blogger Tracy said…

    Well said! I am so tired of the hubub over all of this. Its the bickering that is attacking my christmas spirit - not the marketing in the stores!

    You are a gem and a tresure in the blogsphere. Thank you!

  • At Thu Dec 15, 08:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Meredith- Yes! We love it! Thanks for your help. We also textured and painted then glaze the kitchen (your idea!) We used the same yellow/gold color as the family room. Dining room is next. :)

  • At Fri Dec 16, 10:05:00 PM, Blogger Kyle said…

    People push their agenda because glass houses are lonely places.

    I can only say that I bought 90 percent of my presents this year at Target. The one in Baytown got a facelift and is a lot of fun.

    Like Deana, I am constantly being told by fellow Christians why my Christian perspective is incorrect. I don't remember the last time a gay person tried to push an agenda on me, unless that agenda was "Let me buy you and Amanda lunch. I know a great place."

  • At Sat Dec 17, 05:54:00 AM, Blogger Paige Robins said…

    Kyle--I wish my gay friends would push that agenda on me!


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