The spirit of Christmas

December 9th, 2020

A lot of things about Christmas look different this year, but one thing that’s pandemic-proof is a cup of hot chocolate and a classic Christmas movie. If you’re anything like me, you have an annual movie playlist that sets just the right mood for the holiday season. Not a December goes by without a viewing of Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, followed by an evening in with Elf. Also, each year I try to watch one classic I missed in childhood, such as A Christmas Story or It’s a Wonderful Life.

Comfort and joy

Hallmark, Lifetime, Freeform, Netflix, Hulu, Disney, DreamWorks — all of these major production companies invest billions of dollars in holiday-centric entertainment. On the surface, Miracle on 34th Street is a very different movie from The Grinch yet, as the credits roll, each movie leaves me feeling content and happy. When a catastrophic event can be cleaned up and overcome by a kid and an adult companion in less than 120 minutes, it’s easier to hope that the major problems in our world might be fixable as well. If Ebenezer Scrooge and Lucy Van Pelt can figure out the true meaning of Christmas and be better for it, then so can we.

The fuzzy formula 

Christmas movies follow a delightfully predictable formula: backstory is introduced, some complication occurs that places the holiday in jeopardy, then a team of unlikely heroes band together to save Christmas. After a few twists and turns usually involving a scowling capitalist, the heroes emerge victorious and the result is peace on earth, good will to all. The story of the first Christmas, Jesus’ birth, follows a similar pattern, yet our faith keeps comfort, joy, and hope alive in our hearts year round.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite Christmas movie?
Focal scriptures: Matthew 1:18-23; Isaiah 58:6-12; 1 Peter 1:3-9

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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