I do find it a bit ironic (and sad) that the vast majority of Christmas movies have little or nothing to do with the birth of Christ, which is supposed to be the reason for celebration.
Of course, you and I know that our society has made the season of Christmas into a cultural phenomenon and all the glitz and glamor seem to get in the way of the actual mystery and majesty of the Incarnation.
I was listening to the radio today and am always surprised how many “Christian” Christmas songs are being played. The theology behind these songs are rich and profound. I will write more about this later. But as I scroll through my TV to rent Christmas movies, the opposite takes place. Almost every movie or TV special is about Santa Claus, Frosty, and those little cute elves.
Now, I actually like those movies quite a bit and watch them every year. But I am still amazed at the lack of movies that at least try to depict or portray the true spirit of the holiday.
Christmas can be a time for culture to focus on a change of heart. Very few movies actually tell the story of Christmas, but some tell the story of a person who lacks the Christmas spirit, goes through a crisis, and comes to realize the importance of love, generosity, faith, and family.
From the Advent Companion, “It appears that amid all the commercialization of the season and all the pressures and confusion, the human heart still hears the call of the prophet, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord.”
Here are a few of those movies I can think of, but I would love for you to add to this list. Each year, I make a point to watch and promote these movies as a way of allowing contemporary media to help ground me in the true Spirit of Christ.
1) The Nativity Story
2) A Charlie Brown Christmas
3) It’s a Wonderful Life
4) A Christmas Carol
5) Miracle on 34th Street
Can you think of others that have blessed you this year or in years past?