12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 12

12 days of Jesus Junk, 2012 Edition, Day 10: Happy Birthday Jesus Christmas Lawn Display Yard Sign Decoration.

12 days of Jesus Junk, 2012 Edition, Day 10: Happy Birthday Jesus Christmas Lawn Display Yard Sign Decoration.

With the 2012 election behind us, why not fill that barren spot that once proudly presented your political affiliation with this weatherproof, corrugated plastic (not cardboard), digitally printed “Happy Birthday Jesus” Christmas Lawn Display – Yard Sign Decoration?”

While the candidate of your choice may not have succeeded, this propaganda poster, I mean lawn ornament a sure winner, especially for those trying to reach-out to their neighbor who spends his Sunday mornings washing his car rather than attending your Sunday school class.

And if you play your cards right, you might even get the more litigious members of that pesky Home Owners Association to jump off the codicil cliff when they drive by your ‘vote for Jesus‘ residence.

Regardless of one’s political point of view, I think we can all agree that this is a good enough place to put this series to the miserable, I mean merciful end it deserves.

So thank you for putting up with my tomfoolery, and hopefully 2013 will bring you and your family His Peace and His Grace, sans all the cruft and crap they’re peddling out there these days.

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12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 11

12 days of Jesus Junk, 2012 Edition, Day 10: Christmas Nativity Scene Airblown Inflatable Outdoor Decoration

12 days of Jesus Junk, 2012 Edition, Day 10: Christmas Nativity Scene Airblown Inflatable Outdoor Decoration

A little known fact that while there was no room at the inn, the animals in the stable were apparently very capable of delivering the Baby Jesus, as depicted in this ‘Christmas Nativity Scene Airblown Inflatable Outdoor Decoration.’

What does this have to do with the web design for your church or charity? Glad you asked. Let me sum it up in 3 words:

Don’t get cute.

While  I no longer find too many instances of the animated gif spinning gold lamé cross, I do see a number of sites who are still ‘flashinated’ with sliding billboards of smiling faces but little in terms of usability and/or what the visitor is actually seeking.

Similarly, I’m also see quite a bit of animated gee-wiz implementations of jQuery, which are technically cool, but again, don’t answer the questions nor provide the data a new family visiting town seeks when trying to figure out if their potential pastor is preaching total immersion baptism and/or providing qualified child care while the adults sit in on a Sunday school class or sermon.

I’m not saying one shouldn’t use these tools, just … well … don’t get cute with them.

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12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 10

12 days of Jesus Junk, 2012 Edition, Day 10 – Moose Nativity Scene Figurines

12 days of Jesus Junk, 2012 Edition, Day 10 – Moose Nativity Scene Figurines

Yes, nothing annunciates the coming of the Prince of Peace than caricaturizing his birth in the form of a wild animal known to attack more human beings than bears and wolves combined.

Said beasts are not too kind to cars either, but I digress …

The only thing that would make this display sillier were if it not only included moose, but squirrel, Natasha and Boris too.

Let the reader understand.

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12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 9

12 days of Jesus Junk, 2012 Edition, Day 9 - Beautiful Sweets Nativity Organic Cookies

12 days of Jesus Junk, 2012 Edition, Day 9 – Beautiful Sweets Nativity Organic Cookies

Controversy is no stranger to the Christian faith, even when it comes in the sweet form of ‘Beautiful Sweets Nativity Organic Cookies.’

Made with no preservatives, these crunchy characters are nut-free, unless of you’re one of those who insist somehow that the transubstantiation of the Eucharist is somehow a form of cannibalism — when in fact it is merely ‘Bread from Heaven‘ representative of the nature and person of Jesus.

Of course, it doesn’t help the Church to fend-off such ‘foolish controversies‘ when stuffing one’s face with carbohydrate rich concoctions made of flour, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt.

Perhaps if we focused our efforts more on what Jesus meant when he clarified the issue in John 6:27-35 and less on giving the trolls food for fodder we could eat our cake and have it too — or in this case — an all-natural set of gourmet, decorated sugar cookies decorated as a Nativity set

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12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 8

12 days of Jesus Junk, the 2012 Edition,Day 8 : 6 Foot Inflatable Santa Claus Climbing on Christmas Tree Chased by Dog

12 days of Jesus Junk, the 2012 Edition,Day 8 : 6 Foot Inflatable Santa Claus Climbing on Christmas Tree Chased by Dog

Who knew the esteemed Saint Nicholas wore ice-blue, snow-flaked boxer shorts? At least that’s what we’re to take-away after beholding a fully blown-up “6 Foot Inflatable Santa Claus Climbing on Christmas Tree Chased by Dog” pictured here.

A far cry from the ‘Jolly Old Saint’ who cold-cocked the heresiarch Arius at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea (AD 325) while Arius was defending his position on the inferiority of Christ.

Not that I’m suggesting we adorn our lawns with blow-up depictions of this blessed event, but I wouldn’t think it so bad if we used our Church and/or Charity websites to convey a bit more history over such sophmoric attempts at  humor — such a that on display today.

Here’s a good example of one such lesson entitled “Persecuted, Jailed, Passionate – That’s my kind of Santa Claus.

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12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 7

12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 7 : 12 Dogs of Christmas Avanti Christmas Cards

12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 7 : 12 Dogs of Christmas Avanti Christmas Cards

For today’s venture in to ‘Jesus Junk‘, we move on from playing cards to a 10-count pack of  ‘The 12 Dogs of Christmas Avanti Christmas Cards.’

Honestly, if I were sending out kitschy cards such as these I could see why I’d only need 10, perhaps even less.

The description of these greeting cards begs the question:

” … what better way to create a smile during the holidays than with this charming 12 Dogs of Christmas manger scene? “

Personally, I could think of several dozen off-hand, but that’s not the point.

My point today is simply that more than once, I’ve seen a Church and/or Charity website contain content that’s only funny, witty, humorous and/or cool to the web master who is treating it as their … wait for it … their ‘pet project.’

Don’t do that. Instead, make sure there’s some accountability for the content in the process. I’m not talking about yet another committee, just a couple of individuals committed to helping keep the site from myopically becoming a 1-trick pony … or perhaps puppy in this case.

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12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 6

12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 3 – Where's my Ho's At? Santa Sweater

12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 3 – Where’s my Ho’s At? Santa Sweater

Nothing rings in the spirit of the Advent like a ‘punny’ play on a populist term for a prostitute, like the one depicted on the ‘Where My Ho’s At?’  Men’s Long Sleeve Santa Sweatshirt.

In its attempt at dark humor is not lost on any volunteer at your local Magdalene House, All Things New, Linda’s House of Hope, and/or Annie Lobert ministry — many whom I would suspect would love to have a conversation at length with anyone who might don this apparel — even on Tacky Christmas Sweater Day — which is celebrated on the 17th of December each year.

I know, a bit heavy for such a light-hearted series as the 12 Daze of Jesus Junk, but this particular one bugged me a bit as it reminded me of some of the names and faces of people in need I ran into while volunteering at a church in New York City’s  Hell’s Kitchen, and whose tagline at that time read: “Homeless people down the block. Prostitutes on the corner. Crack dealers across the street. What a great place for a church.”

Just keep all this in mind as you consider places for Christmas donations.

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12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 5

Dianna Effner Jesus: Birth Of A Savior Realistic Lifelike Baby Doll by Ashton Drake

Dianna Effner Jesus: Birth Of A Savior Realistic Lifelike Baby Doll by Ashton Drake

It’s time for the Christmas Pageant, and everyone has a part to play, even this sweet baby boy, also known as the ‘Dianna Effner “Jesus: Birth Of A Savior” Realistic Life-like Baby Doll by Ashton Drake.’ Only $199.99!!

Not convinced? Perhaps you will be after reading this snippet from the online product description:

In a glorious expression of faith, award-winning Master Doll Artist Dianna Effner presents, for the first time ever, her heartwarming vision of the baby Jesus in Jesus: Birth of a Savior Doll. This doll creation is a moving expression of the Baby Jesus on the night he was born, handcrafted of collector-quality fine porcelain and brought to you as a Signature Edition Doll exclusively from The Ashton-Drake Galleries.With completely hand-painted features, this baby savior doll has wisps of baby-soft hair, long baby eyelashes and tiny, hand-painted fingernails and toenails.

Still not buying it? Yeah, neither am I.

Not that this product isn’t skillfully crafted or made, but rather it reminds me of oh-so-many church and charity websites that get so lost in the ‘art project’ aspect of their delivery, that they lose focus of the original goal.

Me, personally?  I’m thinking a slightly more Middle-Eastern baby on a slightly less luxurious bedding might make things a bit more ‘realistic’ and ‘lifelike’ for me.

But that’s my humble opinion, your’s may vary.

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12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 3

12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 3 - Life of Jesus Deck - Bible Playing Cards

12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 3 – Life of Jesus Deck – Bible Playing Cards

On the 3rd day of Christmas my webmaster dealt to me, a set threes, with an ace-king kicker.

What better way to demonstrate grace than to take a bad beating on the river during a late night game of Texas hold ‘em during a youth lock-in?

Sure, you’ll have to let the kiddies shave your head, but at least you didn’t lose it when you realized you were drawing dead after going all in because you came equipped with your ‘Life of Jesus Deck – Bible Playing Cards that Celebrate the Life of Jesus, Including His Birth – Christmas.’

And speaking of betting the house, I should probably get on the topic of church website design, taking this opportunity to go all in and complain about church and charity websites who are clinging desperately to their Flash-based slide shows as some sort of magic that will bring new members and guests through their frond doors in droves.

Yeah, I know, all this ‘flashination’ looks cool the first time out, but is it what a new-to-town couple need to get the information they want about what happens to their children when they drop them off at Sunday School?

I’m betting it doesn’t.

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12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 2

12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 2 - Multi-Color Bethlehem Lighting Indoor/Outdoor Christmas Standard Star Sphere

12 days of Jesus Junk – The 2012 Edition – Day 2 – Multi-Color Bethlehem Lighting Indoor/Outdoor Christmas Standard Star Sphere

While others might paint the wise men were amateur astronomers following Halley’s Comet, color me skeptical.

Sure, a 49212 x 26246 foot (15×8 km) ball of ice hurtling past the Earth at 157,838 mph (254,016 km/h) is impressive.

However, I doubt that this small solar system body (SSB), a.k.a. The Star of Bethlehem (TSB) even when when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma (and sometimes also a tail) could outshine the disco-ball brilliance of a ‘Multi-Color Bethlehem Lighting Indoor/Outdoor Christmas Standard Star Sphere‘ depicted here.

Your mileage — and velocity — may vary.

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