Why are all the Christmas Tree Toppers White and Blonde?
For years, we had a beautiful brown-skinned angel on top of our tree. I found it one day while searching around at a local department store in my hometown of Muskegon and thought, “Wow, this will be a really great image for my daughter to see for her first Christmas.”
It was the only one in stock at the time and I thought myself lucky to have found it, since I haven’t seen another on store shelves in the years since.
If you’ve ever gone looking for a beautiful brown-skinned angel, you know how impossible the task can seem. Because all the angels are white and blonde…and Jesus is European too, you know.
Well, the whole conversation started in our house this season because I had to retire our angel last year. Over the last few years of wear, our move and several storage periods, we finally had to consider a replacement.
The problem is though, that there are very few angels without European features. Because whiteness and purity are so intertwined in our culture (and especially with American Christianity), there isn’t much available for families that want to put a brown skinned angel on the same pedestal. That often means putting a star on the tree instead. Something I didn’t want to do.
Stars are great, don’t get me wrong, but there is a valuable lesson in my daughter seeing a beautiful, brown, angelic woman atop our Christmas tree…and that’s not a piece of imagery that I am willing to sacrifice.
So, obviously, I turned to the internet for options.
African American Angel Tree Toppers
Even online though, the selection is still pretty limited, but there are some resources available, so I thought I would share.
I was able to find several African American angels, which is what we had before.
- African American Angel Tree Toppers on Amazon.com »
- African American Angel Tree Toppers on Google Shopping »
I was also able to find one Native American / American Indian tree topper here:
I looked for Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, but no such luck. That would have been ideal though.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any specifically Latina angels, or Asian American for that matter, but if you find any other links, please share them with me in the comments section below. I would love to see what else you find.
This post was originally published on Nov 24, 2013.