Christmas Movies

Missy and I are finding ourselves weary of the “lessons” of so many Christmas movies. Many movies have at least one kid filled with questions and doubts about Santa who is then told to “just believe.” But the child at home watching this movie learns to “believe” just in time to discover their belief in Santa to be false.

What’s the message here? It doesn’t matter if your belief is true, just believe in something? Belief in something is the virtue, not truth? This message is toxic to real faith.

Or what about the movies that have some greedy character that is all about the presents they get at Christmas. Then the lesson at the end of the movie is that Christmas isn’t about the gifts but about….wait for it….family and loved ones. Really? But what about the kids who have a dysfunctional family? How are they supposed to watch that movie?

The truth is that Christmas is about the gift of Jesus, not a generic sense of family. And no matter our family situation, Jesus loves us and is God with us, Immanuel. That’s the good news!

Or what about the movies that tell kids that if they are good enough, they will get lots of presents from Santa. So the kids whose parents went through a rough year this year–who lost their jobs or their business or their health–what are they supposed to think when only a few gifts are around the tree? Is the lesson that they weren’t good enough?

We are spreading the lie of performance mentality with all of this, or worse, the lie of works righteousness. Performance mentality says that if you perform well (in life, in school, at home) then everything will work out. And if you don’t perform well, it won’t. So if things are bad, push harder to perform better. Works righteousness is similar. It says that if you do everything correctly, you will be in right standing with God and He will bless you. Both of these are lies. We live by grace through faith and not by our performance or our works.

I know these are just silly movies, but the messages in so many of these movies are horrendous. Missy and I are having a harder and harder time sitting through them without getting a little nauseous. Sometimes I just want to be a Grinch. I want to turn off the delightful little Christmas movie midway through and tell my kids, “Don’t believe anything you just saw. It’s crap. It’s not true.” And maybe one day soon I will.

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