For many years, Norman Rockwell's art work appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. The art work often depicted normal every day family scenes where everyone seemed happy, everything was in its place, and everything was just as it should be.
There were a few problems with his artwork. For one, there was no diversity in his artwork- or at least none I can remember. Everyone seemed to be white, European, and middle class. I don't remember any Asians, Hispanics, Black people in his pictures. No one other than Christians seemed to be on the covers either. Where were the Jewish people, Muslim people, Hindu people on the covers? What about working Mom's, single parent families, those who have no family or find themselves estranged from their families? I also don't remember people who shared elements of exotic cultures in the paintings. Everything was homogenised and monocultural. Norman
The Christmas scenes drawn by Rockwell always depicted happy families. Santa was smiling. The parents were smiling. The children were smiling. Everything was wonderful.
Now don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. I have had many happy Christmases, times when I have felt very blessed. I love the food, the time spent with loved ones, the music, the presents, the rush of the season, and the moments of peace. I still feel like a child at Christmas and await anew each year the birth of the Christ child and the magic of Christmas anew.
But I have also had a few Christmases that were less than stellar. Christmases that Mr. Rockwell would never have painted. Christmases that I would like to forget. Christmas isn't meant to be perfect. Not every Christmas contains Norman Rockwell smiles. and that's ok. Because the true message of Christmas continues. Christmas is not about fake smiles and sentimentality. Christmas is not a Rockwell painting. And that's just fine.