Much ado about nothing has been exploding across my social media about red cups and Christmas. I promised myself I would ignore such a silly controversy and the made up “war on Christmas.” I have my own rant on that, and it has nothing do with saying “Merry Christmas” and EVERYTHING to do with selling cheap garbage in August, with tinny Christmas music playing while enslaving children in other countries to make cheap trinkets for us to stuff our stockings and overspend our budgets to celebrate Jesus.
The same time the red cup silliness hit my newsfeed, another story about the “cultural wars” slipped in and has been largely overlooked.
American Girl publishes a magazine and highlighted a young African American girl and her family and the charity her dads have created for children in foster care. This girl was adopted with her brother and then this couple adopted two more children also brothers. The author of the American Girl article was interested in the charity Comfort Cases and investigated. The article was a result of that investigation.
I understand that there is more than one opinion about gay marriage. However the constant use of the term “war” is grating on my nerves. The charity that Rob Scheer has started has helped over 7000 foster children. The Washington Post, among other news outlets have written about this controversy. The article “American Family Faces Harsh Criticism” shares the story of the article and the nature of the push to boycott American Girl.
The criticism is that American Girl should have use a different girl and a different story. Seems to me that focusing on Amaya and her dad’s charity helps point out how many children need a family, need to be loved and cared for. Two men, who love each other, have adopted four such children and work to provide backpacks for those who don’t have a family. I don’t know anything more Christian than that. Which part of Jesus’ sayings “let the children come to me” and to not cause harm to little ones is confusing? Jesus blessed children and used the image of children to talk about the kingdom of God.
I have spent a couple of days wondering what is wrong with folk. The red cup brouhaha was a video made by someone who obviously has issues. A red cup, is a red cup and has nothing to do with the celebration of Christmas. I, personally, don’t look to Starbucks to share with me my religious understanding of Christmas. Last time I checked, reindeers, snowflakes and snow men are NOT Christian symbols. In fact red for Christmas isn’t a Christian color: purple or blue is the color of Advent and the color of the twelve days of Christmas is white and gold.
Why do we focus on the color of a cup or on a wonderful family that is making a difference in lives of children with no families as a problem? If Christians, myself included, want to celebrate the birth of Jesus, there are a variety of ways that has nothing to do with the words “merry” the color “red” or an overpriced doll that would truly be a witness to God’s grace in the world.
So I am going to choose to spend less time on those who would create a false controversy and more time on those working to transform the world with love and grace and justice. Bringing food for United Methodist Open Door Ministries, helping Inter-Faith ministries with Operation Holiday ad the Overflow Shelter for the homeless is an action that is closer to bringing Christ’s reign on earth than worrying about the color of cup. Celebrating a family who brings those without a family into a home is a deeper commitment to Christ than a boycott of a magazine or a store.
Instead of posting silliness on social media about things that don’t matter, like red cups or whether someone says “Merry Christmas”, post something positive that will make a real difference in the lives of children, the lives of homeless, the refugee, the lost and those who are lonely. I think we can transform the world one person at a time if we look to those who need love and grace and offer the best of who we are in response.