It's getting on Christmas season once again, and this can only mean one thing: the annual flood of catalogues is in full swing.
I am not complaining. We like this onslaught at our house, and we look forward to it every year. All of us - even the girls - will page through the various offerings, laughing at the clever slogans on the t-shirts or pointing out what seems like a new and exciting gizmo designed to liberate money from our wallets. Signals and Wireless catalogues are favorites all around. The girls like the various toy catalogues and party good catalogues. Kim likes anything that promises to optimize life around the house. I tend to reserve my excitement for what I call "book porn" - those extended catalogues such as the ones Edward R. Hamilton puts out that just list book after book after book after book, all at steep discounts. I can look through those for hours, making out lists of books I will never end up buying. But that doesn't matter. It's the looking that's fun.
Not that I would object to the buying, mind you.
Now, a lot of the things that appear in these catalogues are clever solutions to problems you didn't know you had, or just neat stuff in general. It must be said, however, that once in a while you run into something that just screams out at you, "Not Well Thought Through."
And thus we come to the Nativity Cookie Cutter Set that Kim saw yesterday.
On the surface, this seems like a perfectly reasonable product, and one eminently suited for these Evangelical States of America. It is a set of cookie cutters, one each for all of the figures of the Nativity scene - wise men, donkeys, Mary and Joseph, the whole crew. You can see why someone thought it was a good idea, and why it would sell. Religion, sugar, tchotchkes - fun for the whole family!
I'm not the most religiously observant fellow you'll ever run into - if there is a church-attendance requirement to get into heaven, my goose is cooked - but I do take my faith fairly seriously even so. And it seems to me that the Nativity Cookie Cutter Set is just an invitation to theological trouble.
Let me put it this way: would you bite the head off the baby Jesus cookie?
My guess is that as soon as you did that a voice just like the one Bill Cosby uses in his "Noah" routine would echo throughout the land - a very unhappy voice, with very unhappy things to say. This is not a voice you'd want to hear more than once, probably. So you'd pretty much have to let those cookies pile up, uneaten, until you had a mound of baked baby Jesuses just sitting around the kitchen that you couldn't do anything with. It's not like throwing them in the trash would be much of an improvement, and the whirring blades of the garbage disposal are just right out.
I'm not even going to discuss the leavening issue.
No, I think we'll pass on this one. We'll stick to cookies shaped like reindeer or trees, things that don't produce theological dilemmas when you're hungry. It's hard enough watching what you eat during the holidays as it is.