The Nutcracker soldier is everywhere this Christmas. Here’s why I think that’s not such a marvelous thing.
I’m sure you’ve seen them, too. On front porches, near mailboxes, inside living rooms.
In all colors, ranging from pinks and grays to the classic red and green.
Unusually large this year, in previous Christmases these little men were found hidden on shelves or displayed on mantels.
Today’s Nutcracker soldier is 50 times as large as its predecessor. And everywhere.
When I first spotted one of these grandiose soldiers, I thought it was nice. I’d never seen one quite so large, and its classy look paired nicely with the house where it sat surrounded by greenery and white lights.
Then not too long after that sighting, I saw another. This time, a set of pink and light green nutcrackers with white hair were standing at either side of a front door, guarding the entrance to a beautiful home.
Nice. Different color, different style. I wasn’t seeing the trend.
Everywhere over the next few weeks, these larger-than-life soldiers popped up here and there. My neighbors bought one. I saw over a dozen while scrolling through Instagram. Looking at Christmas lights on a drive after dinner, there were more.
Over and over again, these same Nutcracker soldiers decorated the yards of many middle and upper-class houses.
I got to thinking:
Why do humans jump on bandwagons?
Even something as simple as a nutcracker decoration?
Turns out, it’s biological. According to Dr. Carol Morgan of Huffington Post:
I teach small group communication, and there is a phenomenon called “Group Think.” That is when a group of people all start thinking the same way and don’t question what the whole group thinks — at all. And as result, everyone’s ability to use their critical thinking skills just goes out the window.
Another reason people jump on the band wagon is that they don’t want to be left out. Humans have a deep need for inclusion, so if they don’t jump on the wagon with everyone else, they fear being the odd one out. And most people don’t want to feel that way.“Why Do People Jump on the Bandwagon Instead of Thinking for Themselves? “
Human beings have a fear of rejection. It runs deep, and unfortunately, just about every part of our American lifestyle bolsters our need to be accepted.
We want our children to assimilate into public schools, so they won’t be ostracized.
We try to choose careers that will enable us to move up society’s ladder, as opposed to chasing after the desires of our hearts.
Our homes, our cars, our outfits–yes, even our Christmas decorations–are all part of this “Group Think,” this idea that having, doing or being what everyone else is having, doing or being will somehow insulate us from not being wanted.
If only we knew that the Creator of the Universe not only accepts us, but deeply desires us.
In every culture, the Highest Power is ultimately one of light, but since I’m Christian, I’ll use the example of my Highest Power, Jesus, God of God, Light of Light.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.Jesus, John 10:10
And not only does he love and accept us, He created each of us uniquely and wonderfully. Think about it. There is not a single soul on earth who is exactly like you!
Even if you’re an identical twin, you almost certainly don’t share the same thoughts or personality as your twin. You likely have different feelings, tastes, experiences and desires.
If we are fashioned to be individuals by a Genius Creator, then let’s do that. Let’s be who we are, Christmas decor and all.
This may seem like such a trivial thing to blog about, but I fear that we are all attempting to mold ourselves into the fake versions of those people we find “successful” online: the influencers, such as the Kardashians (nothing against them), the celebrities, the uber-wealthy…even those who claim Christ.
Back in the day we called this “Keeping Up with the Joneses.” The need to keep up seems far worse now that we have a constant entry point into the lives of those who appear “better off.”
In the New Year, my prayer is that you’ll take a step back from the Group Think, copy-cat, Keep up with the Joneses mentality and find one way to be more YOU.
If you’re going to pattern yourself like anyone, my Christian friend, pattern yourself like Christ, loving all and accepting all.
See you soon,