Yard signs advertise meaning of Christmas

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by 007, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. 007
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    007 Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Yard signs advertise meaning of Christmas

    By The Associated Press


    EUGENE — An 86-year-old man's statement against the commercialization of Christmas could become the next must-have holiday accessory.

    Al Jagger was down in the dumps this time last year, distressed by how commercialization had overwhelmed the holiday's religious roots. His mood didn't brighten on New Year's Day — the first day on the Judeo-Christian calendar.

    "People celebrate the New Year all around the world, and they don't have a clue what they're celebrating,'' he said. "The New Year celebrates the life of Jesus.''

    Jagger shared his frustration with his friend, Willie Houmes. The two brainstormed ideas but were stumped until they noticed a political lawn sign in somebody's yard.

    "That's when we thought, let's put Jesus' birthday on a sign,'' Houmes said.

    The result: hundreds of beige-colored lawn signs with the message: "Christmas, Jesus, Celebrate His Birth.''

    Jagger knew he had something when he ordered an initial 500 signs in August. More than half were claimed by members at his own church, First Church of the Nazarene.

    That prompted him to order a total of 5,000, hopeful he might be able to find homes for them all in the Eugene-Springfield area. The number has since grown to 9,400, and the signs can be seen in many Oregon cities and in several Western states.

    "We just can't control it,'' Jagger said. "We can't keep up.''

    Jagger, a retired life insurance salesman, now finds himself working 8- to 10-hour days trying to get a sign to everyone who wants one. He spent last Saturday delivering several hundred to churches in Philomath, Albany and Lebanon. This weekend, he will be in Beaverton.

    Houmes got his own taste of the phenomenon when he took three to his barber. The barber sold them before Houmes left the shop.

    "So I took him back 10 more,'' he said.

    Jagger said a nephew delivered signs to Idaho and Colorado. An unknown motorist who noticed the signs while driving through Florence, meanwhile, is responsible for the hundreds of signs that adorn homes in San Jose, Calif., and Sun City, Ariz.

    Jagger first distributed the signs through churches, asking that they reimburse him only for the production cost of $3 each. He now has them at several Christian store outlets, where they typically sell for $5 or $6.

    Aside from an initial outlay of his own money, Jagger said, he hasn't taken a financial hit thanks in part to two $5,000 donations from local businessmen. He's registered his group under the name Messengers of Truth, and said he's thinking about hiring a phone answering service to handle calls.

    In the Eugene subdivision where Jagger lives, no fewer than 29 homes have the signs. Barbara Long has hers next to a plastic snowman.

    "We practically chased Al down to get one,'' Long said. "I said, I need one, and I want one, because Jesus is the reason for the season.''

    http://www.gazettetimes.com/articles/2004/12/17/news/religion/satrel04.txt
     
  2. MissileMan
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    MissileMan Senior Member

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    Nice story, but when did New Years Day become a religious holiday?
     
  3. 007
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    You have to read it all. It's the old guy in the stories interpretation of Christmas. That the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas day is celebrated year round.

    Don't read too much into the story. The jist of it is, the guy made signs that said what Christmas is, and now he can't keep up with the demand.
     

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