Christmas Moved to China

This year, I decided to refrain from putting up any Christmas decorations that were made in China. I don’t know why, really. I don’t have any lack of like for the Chinese. It just seems disingenuous to display depictions of Santa and his reindeer, angels, the Wise Men, and Baby Jesus in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes, all manufactured in a country composed of a billion people who don’t practice Christmas.
I didn’t know what I was getting into until I began the yearly ritual of climbing into the attic hauling down the multiple boxes of wreaths and bulbs and knick-knacks that only see the light of day for the month of December, but my parents practiced the same ritual before me, and their parents before them, so it must be tradition that makes me do the same thing this time each year.
It could be an instinct, like the migration of Monarch butterflies to Mexico, or the annual one of whales to breed in the warm oceans near Baja, California. I considered it for a moment while I was opening the boxes, and almost discarded the comparison until I realized that my parents, and my grandparents, too, had made the pilgrimage to semi-tropical Florida every year of their retirement, and at the same time of year, too. The only significant difference I could discern is that the whales and butterflies do it for breeding, while humans do it for tanning.
Lacking an anthropology degree, I left the deeper meaning of the annual urges to the experts. Maybe the Christmas urge is part instinct and part tradition, and doesn’t usually involve migration, which appears to be optional. I’m certain that scientists have a complicated explanation for the whole experience that includes complicated words that they made up for the occasion, but their take on Christmas traditions will probably have no effect on the annual obligation of Christians throughout the world who are in the process of hauling boxes out of the attic to prepare for a visit from Santa on the birthday of Jesus.
I was intent on eliminating every ornament, every decoration and bulb that displayed a Made in China sticker. I began with the Santa in an alpine forest with the hook that my Son’s stocking would hang. I turned it over. Made in China. I placed it in the Made in China pile, and moved on to Santa hugging a reindeer. More China. Undeterred, I moved on to the Christmas lights that have hung on my tree for years. China again.
I know that the tree is made in America. It grew on a tree farm not far from my home. I refused to think that the saw I used to cut it down was made anywhere but the Good Old USA, and moved to the bulbs. I finally had a success. Made exclusively in Gastonia, North Carolina for Walmart. I was beginning to feel patriotic. At least I had bulbs, shiny glass ornaments made exclusively for the largest seller of Chinese goods in the free world.
When my family asks what happened to the rest of the decorations, I will tell them the truth: “Christmas moved to China.”

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