After work I stopped at the grocery store, the Giant off Queen Street, because, obviously, I needed some groceries. Bread, peanut butter, milk, that sort of thing. Life’s essentials.
While I was there, I browsed the magazine rack. There, on the bottom shelf, was a row of adult coloring books. Or, more accurately, magazines. I’m not sure why I stopped to look at them, as I’ve never gotten into the adult coloring book craze. I guess seeing one titled “Coloring Christmas Cats” caught my eye. Next to it was one titled “Coloring Christian Christmas”; its cover featured a snowy New England town, with a banner that read “Peace on Earth” hanging from a church.
I picked up “Coloring Christian Christmas,” mildly curious at its contents, and began to leaf through it. It featured page after page of snowmen, Santa Claus, presents, stockings, snowflakes. Occasionally there would be a lyric from a hymn — “Hark the Herald Angels,” “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Sometimes there would be a single word like “Rejoice.”
One page may have been the Three Wise Men. Another page had an angel, though you could argue it was a Christmas tree topper.
Otherwise, it was roughly 80 pages of secular Christmas traditions.
Surely, I thought, there should be a Nativity scene here. Surely, shepherds watching their flock by night. Surely, a Madonna and Child. Surely, something that justified the title “Coloring Christian Christmas.” No, just a few lines from a few hymns, an angel, and the Three Wise Men.
I’m a fucking heathen, and even I was offended by this. I think the “war on Christmas” is silly in the extreme — there’s a Christian religious festival, and there’s a secular seasonal festival, and they’re called the same damn thing — but I would be completely sympathetic to someone who picked up “Coloring Christian Christmas” and was pissed off that the magazine had a lot to do with Christmas but absolutely nothing to do with religion.
I didn’t even look in “Coloring Christmas Cats.” I wonder if it had any cats in it. For all I know, it’s full of dogs.