Friday, December 3, 2004

Don't Eat the Vegetables

One Yuletide constant in the bookstore is the overabundance of nativity sets. We literally have them piled up in the front of store. We are out of shelf space. Who knew there were so many takes on the Holy Family sitting in a barn?

Into this fray enters the VeggieTales Nativity Play Set.

I should mention how much I love VeggieTales. I find their videos to be funny, intelligent and great for parents and kids alike. For that, I can look past the unsettling nature of talking vegetables.

Just an aside: What do the VeggieTales characters eat? They can’t be vegetarians. That would make them cannibals. For once the vegetarians would be the cruel ones. I’m guessing its some sort of bread-based high carb diet.

Anyway, despite my love for VeggieTales, I do have to wonder if they’ve gone too far depicting baby Jesus as a baby carrot. I usually dip baby carrots in ranch dressing. For some reason, I feel uncomfortable with the idea of baby Jesus smothered in salad dressing or any other condiment for that matter. It just doesn’t seem orthodox.

Surely, nativity sets are supposed to inspire contemplative thoughts of the lowly conditions surrounding the birth of Christ. The only thing the VeggieTales Nativity Play Set makes me think is, “Boy, a salad sure does sound good right about now.”


kate said...

My personal favorite thing about this nativity set is the look of shock and bewilderment on the faces of the holy parental units. It's like they're looking at God Jr. and thinking, "But neither of us is a carrot. How did we get a baby carrot? And--hold on just a minute here--the Messiah's a giant CARROT?!"

The possibilities for humor in this set are truly endless.

Anonymous said...

I think the veggies eat sunlight, carbon dioxide, and minerals that they soak up from the soil, just like real plants.

Neville said...

ben, once again, you've made my cracked smile turn into ridiculous giggling. you have a way of taking things further that makes me like life way more than i think i should. oh and kate...i liked your comment too. it quickly reminded me of jim carrey's facial expression when he saw his triplets being born as small black children.

elfdream said...

I just found your site and wanted to say thanks for having the courage to say the things I have always thought.

My husband is the GM for a store in a mega chain (Books-A-Million) and some of your stories and customers sound very familar. I guess they are the same the world over.

Keep up the good work.


karen said...

The gourds must have been crazy when this happened! Hmm.. I wonder if this the part of the show where Larry comes out and sings a silly song.

naomi said...

I don't own a nativity set. But the Veggie Tales Nativity Play Set my have tickled my inner child enough to actually purchase one. Yes, the evil step-mil would probably think I was serious if I added that to my Christmas list. You know the one I'm talking about. The one I bought the book for on Saturday. In your store.

The one plus with this playset is that my nephews would actually pay attention to it when the father in law reads the long, boring version of the Christmas story. Don't get me wrong, I love the story of baby Jesus. I just don't appreciate my fil's delivery, God love him. Why do we insist on reading Bible stories without inflection or dramatization? Reverence perhaps. Let's take a page out of the Veggie Tales book and start to incorporate a Silly Song from Larry. That would draw our attention.

Rouver said...

While I can see the appeal of Veggie Tales, I’ve always been a little uneasy with the bastardization of Bible Stories that occurs in their videos. Perhaps I can teach my children to despise them for their heresies & to viciously masticate their veggies as a means to facilitate God’s vengeance on these animated atrocities, ...and to help them eat their veggies.

Anonymous said...

Gotta say I lean towards Rouver's pov on this one--the idea of depicting the holy family as vegetables, no matter what kind of personalities they have, strikes me as kinda missing the wonder and the point of the whole Nativity.

Or maybe I'm just not a veggie tales kind of girl. I recoil from this set, but if other people get something out of it more power to them. I guess.

jwb said...

"...idea of depicting the holy family as vegetables, no matter what kind of personalities they have, strikes me as kinda missing the wonder and the point of the whole Nativity."

Yeah next thing they'll be portraying the Son of God as a fluffy little sheep, or, worse, some cute little newborn baby...whooops.

Rouver said...

Oh look! PETA members read Christian blogs! Just take your red paint & back away from the monitor, buddy.

You can clasp those anthropomorphic defilers of God's word to your breast if you want. Apparently, they've wormed their way entirely too far into your brain if you can't distinguish between vegetable, beast, and human.


Speaking of sheep...

Why do the men in Scotland wear kilts?

Because the sheep can hear a zipper a mile away

Elise Amelie said...

I recently found a website on which the author is posting various weird and wrong nativity sets.. If you thought the VeggieTales Nativity set was kinda strange, look at the ones she posts! Freeeakyyyy.

Jay said...

Well, I'd like to say that the Veggie Tales thing suprises me, but not so much:the religious thing is not new to them, they cover the story of Jonah in a movie. Another nativity scene that did catch me off guard was the one at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London.
Victoria Beckham aka Posh Spice's wax double poses as Mary, while her husband soccer star David represents Joseph. Tony Blair, the Duke of Edinburgh and George Bush (ahem) make up the Three Wise Men.
Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson and Graham Norton play shepherds, and good old Kylie Minogue plays the angel...I always said the Nativity scene would be vastly improved by some cheesy dance pop music!

Reid Davis said...

Having profiled the VeggieTales gang in WORLD magazine a few years back, I distinctly remember Phil Vischer (founder, creative genious) saying he never wanted to depict Jesus as a vegetable, ever.

So this must mean that in all of the business churn they've been through (the company went through Chapter 11 and was sold), Phil is either 1) out; 2) relatively powerless; or 3) completely gone back on his principles.

Nina said...

I've heard that Phil Vischer comment, too. I have young kids and a wealth of Veggie vids, and in even in the Easter and Christmas shows, they made a point of never depicting Jesus, except in a sequence with animated stained glass windows (Easter Carol) picturing actual human beings. It's strange to realize that they've broken that taboo with the nativity scene.

Jason J said...

Reid Davis-

I would lean mostly toward option (2), and this nativity set stirred the same debate within Big Idea walls. The official explaination for the toy is that these are not NEW characters. It is still Larry, Junior, etc..., making this more of a set (like a theatrical play). Therefore, Jesus is not a Veggie Character, but is being portrayed in a play.

Again, I'd lean toward (2).


Mark Hultgren said...

Hello, I just wanted to post a comment on how well you have put your Blog together. I was doing a search for best home based business idea and came across your Blog. I personally run my own Blog for best home based business ideabest home based business idea so I know a good Blog when I see one.

Frank said...

You have a great blog here.

I have a business computer own start site. It's about business computer own start related stuff.

Feel free to visit and let me know what you think :-)

Jennifer said...

I have a problem with Christmas in general. God said we weren't to worship him the way the pagans worshipped their gods, and yet we have Christmas, where Christians celebrate the symbol that is the baby Jesus.