Manger Chic: Parents push for fanciest Jesus, Joseph, Mary!

Even in a struggling economy, parents are willing to spend a ridiculous amount of money to make their child the greatest looking Jesus, Joseph and Mary to hit the school or church stage.

Mail Online out of London reports:

“Virgin Marys are appearing in luxury pashmina shawls and velvet dresses, while shepherds are opting for striped velour dressing gowns.”

“Parents whose children are playing minor roles, such as the donkey or sheep, are sometimes prepared to spend double the amount of those buying to dress Mary and Joseph, added Ed Watson, spokesman for the department store Debenhams”

“ ‘They feel they have to compensate for their child’s minor role by putting on a much greater display of Manger Chic to win attention,’ he explained, before blaming the demand for places at good schools.”

So far this trend hasn’t hit our church. Our preschool has some basic costumes that the 4-year-old use each year for their Nativity so the parents aren’t involved in the costuming. And our Vacation Bible School pulls shepherd and ancient Roman robes from a big plastic container so no pretention there either.

What about your church or school: Do the parents compete for the greatest looking costumes ever? Do they put expensive clothing on Jesus, Joseph or Mary? Are the animals chic as well? How do you feel about this trend? How can schools and churches curtail the competitiveness?

(I have two blogs today. Don’t miss my earlier topic on man cleavage being in!)

52 comments Add your comment

MaryKay

December 4th, 2009
7:47 am

Jesus, Joseph and Mary wearing expensive clothing?

Do these parents have NO IDEA about the true nativity story?

motherjanegoose

December 4th, 2009
7:47 am

I am fairly confident that the participants of the first Christmas were not into a fashion statement and thus feel those who are have TOTALLY missed the real meaning of the manger scene,

How many times are we seeing these parents who cannot enjoy their children and seem to have to make everything about being a parent, a competition? Pashmina now and BMW later….I see it everywhere.

Oh and by the way, these kids might come back and camp out at their parent’s house after finishing college ( with no plans for a job) as it is obvious who can provide a nicer standard of living.

JATL

December 4th, 2009
7:53 am

This is the dumbest thing I think I’ve heard. What a bunch of freaks!

Photius

December 4th, 2009
7:56 am

Celebrate the birth of our Saviour, the ultimate non-materialist, by having your little no neck monster dress up with expensive clothes. Only in America…

Karma

December 4th, 2009
8:07 am

The same helicopter moms that…I dont know….count the words in their kids books for competetion, or, carry their cell phone and keys in their bra,

Photius

December 4th, 2009
8:16 am

“LORD, PROTECT ME FROM YOUR FOLLOWERS!”

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 4th, 2009
8:16 am

Karma — all my costumes stinkeroo so I’m not in on this trend.

Becky

December 4th, 2009
8:17 am

Heck no, our church doesn’t try to up one another..Neither do my 2..I’ve never been into “fashion” that much, so I’m with JATL on this..

A

December 4th, 2009
8:20 am

Karma–you are so right. Some of these recent blogs about “helicopter” moms are really annoying. There’s a recession on, school lunch nutrition is horrible, and all we can talk about is how many words are in a child’s book for a silly reading competition or what the Holy Family are wearing this year.

DB

December 4th, 2009
8:38 am

Let’s remember the season and be kind: Perhaps they are just trying, in their own way, to honor the Holy Family?

That’s the only way I can look at this and still stay sane . . . :-)

DB

December 4th, 2009
8:39 am

Let’s remember the season and be kind: Perhaps, in their own way, they are simply trying to give honor to the Holy Family?

I’m going to assume their heart is in the right place. Otherwise, I’m going to get really depressed . . .

DB

December 4th, 2009
8:40 am

Oops, double post — sorry. T, you can dump either one

FCM

December 4th, 2009
8:48 am

Oh yeah the competition is alive in well in the ‘burbs. I remember it being that way when I was kid too. I got a new fancy dress for the narrator role in a Christmas pagent.

The Holy Family was always in cotton though. Same for shepsherds. The wise people (see earlier blogs about how many their might have been) and angels were the only other fancy dressed.

I love Johnson Ferry Baptists performance at Easter. Their costumes are cotton for the most part but still probably fancier than the ones worn in Jesus’ time.

People were going to Bethlem to be counted by royal decree. There would have been “family renunions” and “visting” of sorts planned. They would certainly have been in their best clothes even if it were not fashionable. Although Joseph may have been reluctant to have been around the family with Mary (they were not yet fully husband and wife — and her condition would have upset the family, caused strife at minimum and stoning at worst). I am sure they were still in their best clothes. (Side bar: I have always figured this is why they had to look for room in an Inn rather than bunk with family. Joseph is of the House of David!)

MaryKay

December 4th, 2009
9:38 am

Seriously, what does the term “helicopter mom” mean?

Karma

December 4th, 2009
9:41 am

Ghandi said; “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians” This is an example of what he meant.

Kearns

December 4th, 2009
9:42 am

@marykay helicopter parents HOVER over their children

motherjanegoose

December 4th, 2009
9:43 am

HOVERING over every aspect of their children…..I assume you are asking this honestly.

JJ

December 4th, 2009
10:04 am

This is why I don’t buy into the religion stuff.

DB

December 4th, 2009
10:10 am

Umm — guys — this was in LONDON, not America (Sorry, Photius). Why is everyone suddenly “down on America” because of something happening in London?

Well, good JJ...

December 4th, 2009
10:10 am

…now the next time someone tells you to “go to he–” you can respond, “too late, I already have my reservation and it is my choice”.

But, we will pray for you anyway as it is never too late to change your mind, UNTIL it is too late!

DB

December 4th, 2009
10:22 am

@Well, good JJ…

There are many paths to God. If I honestly thought you were praying for JJ, I might be a little more forgivin’ and forgettin’, but I can’t help but think you are just being supercilious and judgmental. Please, please, please do NOT go there . . . do NOT turn an innocuous blog on Nativity scenes into a religious rant.

Sorry, DB...

December 4th, 2009
10:51 am

…no rant nor judgment here. I was just offering thoughts to a lost soul – and, there is only one way to the eternal life to which I was referring. Maybe it is you who is not forgivin’ or forgettin’ (and I don’t even know what supercilious means!)

oh good grief!!!

December 4th, 2009
10:53 am

A Religious Friday Blog – we need this about like we need another political blog

Supercilious explained...

December 4th, 2009
10:57 am

“disdainful: having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy”

Sorry, DB – not what I was trying to be at all – sorry if it came across that way.

MaryKay

December 4th, 2009
11:16 am

@DB – EVERYONE is not “down on America” (to use your words) because of this. We’re just talking about it’s a bad idea in general – London, Atlanta, Bejing…. Photius is the only one who mentioned America.

BTW DB, although a bit blunt, Well Good JJ… was right. The ONLY way to the Father is through the Son. Point Blank. Period. End of discussion.

FCM

December 4th, 2009
11:16 am

for people unsure about the meanings of words….your on a computer! Look it up!!

Of course we will still be happy to explain.

FCM

December 4th, 2009
11:17 am

DB hang in there girl. I am with you on the paths idea. Let’s choose not to go there with those who want to diagress.

RJ

December 4th, 2009
11:22 am

@JJ,exactly what does it mean to “but into that religious stuff”. Just as you have a right to your belief that there is no God, I have a right to believe that there is a God. Don’t insult my belief system by referring to it as “stuff” and I won’t belittle your lifestyle.

At my church we still do sheets and simple costumes.

RJ

December 4th, 2009
11:23 am

Excuse my typo, I meant “buy into that religious stuff.”

oneofeach4me

December 4th, 2009
11:32 am

After I read this blog I took a walk around the office to stretch my legs as I felt I really had nothing to contribute to this blog being that I do not atten church although my daughter does attend Awanas.

A few of us started decorating our cubes for xmas.. just to lighten it up a little around here. Then.. all of a sudden.. certain women were saying “oh it’s on now.. it’s war”. Umm.. okay. Never knew this was a competition. Everyday they bring in something new to upgrade their cube to look better than their neighbor. That is when I thought.. man.. I would HATE to see these women in cheerleading or ANY extracurricular activity with their kids. I now get the “helicopter mom” thingy.

JJ

December 4th, 2009
11:38 am

RJ I don’t care if you think I’m insulting your believe system. Feel free, as a christian, to belittle my lifestyle. I don’t care.

motherjanegoose

December 4th, 2009
11:41 am

oneofeach…you made me laugh.

MAYBE it is the cheerleader mentality and that these women have been competing for so long that it runs in their veins.

WHOODATHUNKIT?

I learned long ago, that while I am a credible person, there are those who are cuter, smarter, fancier, wealthier, more athletic etc. and I am rarely QUEEN of the mountain. Every so often it happens but I do not count on it to make me happy.

DB

December 4th, 2009
11:45 am

(Muttering to herself: “Not going there, not going there . . . ” :-) )

@oneofeach4me: Competitive people will be competitive over the strangest things. The non-competes tend to sit back and go, “Wow — just, wow . . .” I am a non-compete, but my husband and son are HIGHLY competitive. Everything is a competition to them! Usually they exercise it in appropriate areas — races, football and basketball pools, etc. But I’m betting you’re surrounded by a bunch of uber-Type A’s. It may be made worse if your office is offering a prize to the best decoration — that REALLY brings out the competitive streaks in some people! The office I work out of had a prize for best Halloween decorations — and there were some pretty elaborate ones. I stuck a plastic pumpkin with candy in it on my desk and said fare-thee-well, and clapped for the one that spent all evening decorating her door. No one has ever accused me of being a decorating maven! Frankly, I was relieved when the decorations came down — there was one decoration that was motion sensitive that would moan every time I walked by — *sigh*

MaryKay

December 4th, 2009
12:09 pm

This blog is about the birth of Jesus Christ (and recreating the nativity for the stage). So, if someone doesn’t believe in Jesus (JJ), then why comment in this blog and belittle Christianity?

RJ

December 4th, 2009
12:19 pm

@JJ, you completely missed my point. Why so bitter? If you have nothing to add to this blog, why even bother commenting? I have no need to belittle your lifestyle. My religion teaches me to be non-judgemental, but to be prayerful. And with that…I’m done.

...

December 4th, 2009
12:20 pm

Matthew 6
25″Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?
28″And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

JJ

December 4th, 2009
12:44 pm

RJ What on earth makes you think I’m bitter??????

I’m the happiest person I know. There’s no bitterness in this body thank you.

oneofeach4me

December 4th, 2009
1:07 pm

@mjg – my sentiments exactly. at some point in time some where along the line there will be someone who is better than I or the. lol…. I am just glad I have a reason to smile today

@DB – funny. My household is the same way. I am definitely non-competitive, but my husband and son are to the extreme. As long as they are outside when expressing it I can at least still have picture frames with glass in them ;-)

oneofeach4me

December 4th, 2009
1:14 pm

Oh and DB… they are offering a prize.. a pretty blue ribbon.. LOL!!! Talk about being uber-Type A competitive!! WOW – I mean wow! ;-)

HB

December 4th, 2009
1:45 pm

I love that the store in the article is trying to persuade parents to go the more traditional route and save money — can you imagine Macy’s, the creator of American commercial Christmas as we know it, telling parents, “no, you don’t need these fancy costumes — pajamas are fine”?

BlondeHoney

December 4th, 2009
2:11 pm

@MaryKay, this blog is NOT about the birth of jesus…it’s about how far people will go to out-do one another in a christmas play. JJ probably should not have commented as she did, but let’s not turn this into a religious issue when it is nothing of the sort. Please leave religion out of it. Thanks!

JJ

December 4th, 2009
2:53 pm

When a blog starts out with Jesus, Joseph & Mary, and church stages at CHRISTMAS time, I do believe religion is involved.

MaryKay

December 4th, 2009
2:58 pm

@BlondeHoney – you want to leave religion out of the birth of Jesus Christ? Wow.

Gotta agree with JJ...

December 4th, 2009
3:24 pm

…on that point, just not her original post.

oneofeach4me

December 4th, 2009
3:25 pm

Religion may be involved in the topic and be the gathering place of the storyline.. but it is competitiveness, perfectionism, and jealousy that drives the desire to “one-up” the adult sitting next to them in the audience. So when thy neighbor says “that’s my little girl up there playing Mary!”, they other parent can reply with “that’s my daughter as the sheep.. isn’t her costume AMAZING???”

new stepmom

December 4th, 2009
4:42 pm

This whole concept is absurd…What happened to dad’s bathrobe for the shepherds and scraps of fabric to make a lot of the rest of the costumes. Good times are being missed by many children due to CRAZY parents.

new stepmom

December 4th, 2009
4:44 pm

This whole concept is absurd. What happened to dad’s bathrobe being the major costumimg piece used for Christmas Pageants every where? Kids are missing out on lots of fun due to CRAZy parents….

DB

December 4th, 2009
5:51 pm

How many dads still have bathrobes?

BlondeHoney

December 4th, 2009
7:44 pm

MaryKay, religion is about one’s faith and beliefs, not about what one wears in the Christmas nativity play.

deidre_NC

December 4th, 2009
10:57 pm

@karma…amen!