In 1993, Billings, Montana was a hotbed for anti-Semitic behavior including demonstrations. After two homes displaying menorahs were vandalized, the town began to push back in a unique way. Everyone started hanging pictures of menorahs in the windows of their homes and many went to the synagogue on Hanukah to protect worshippers. This show of solidarity eventually stopped the vandalism and intimidation. It was an amazing story of how a town coming together to solve a problem can accomplish a lot. This story is told in a children’s book, “The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate” by Janice Cohn.
Every Christmas there are news articles about towns which won’t put up a nativity anymore. Residents are up in arms over it for the entire season. They want their town nativity and they fight hard to get it back. Sometimes they get it back but most of the time they don’t. It’s so sad to see our local communities losing the symbols of the true reason for Christmas. Our politically correct society is losing its roots and Christmas is near the top of that list.
A couple years ago, I heard a Christian pastor give the best advice about Christmas nativity scenes. He spoke of how many people get upset because their town won’t decorate with a nativity for Christmas and yet these people never personally do anything which can really help or be called a serious answer. Then he offered a solution based on the experience of residents in Billings, Montana. A solution that everyone can participate it; in fact, the more who do it, the better it is!
His solution was a DIY project: if every family displayed a nativity in their own yard or window, they would be everywhere! It wouldn’t matter if the public spaces had a nativity or not. There would be so many in every street and neighborhood, one more in the town center wouldn’t make much difference.
I listened to this pastor’s advice and loved it! What a simple solution to a sad situation. My family can be part of a good cause at Christmas! We can help remind people of the true meaning of Christmas every day.