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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thoughts on Christmas Movies

There are certain movies that you have to watch at Christmas time -- it's just not Christmas without the classic Christmas Movies, but while we think of them as primarily kids' shows, many of them are surprisingly negative. This was the scene in my house yesterday:

I thought that allowing the kids to watch "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" would be a big treat, but instead turned around to find both of them crouched by the door in the hallway - they couldn't even tolerate being in the same room as the big noisy Winter Warlock (whom I had forgotten about). In the same DVD set we have one of my favorite shows "The Little Drummer Boy" but we always have to fast-forward the scene where the little boy's parent's are murdered.  And this is a cartoon!

Here's another one. Think (really think) about "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". It tells the story of two misfits, Rudolph and Hermy. Rudolph is rejected by the reindeer because his nose lights up, and Hermy is rejected by the elves because he doesn't like making toys. Yes, eventually everyone is happy in the end, but what a sad story for us to tell little kids over and over - if you feel left out, just run away, people will realize how much they miss you and it will make you feel better.  Yikes!

Then there is "The Grinch who stole Christmas". In this movie the bad guy somehow turns into the hero because he is thoughtful enough to return all of the gifts that he stole.  I feel bad for the poor guy with a heart that is too small, but that certainly doesn't excuse his breaking into every house in town, stealing their gifts, and destroying their homes.

Now there is the newest addition to our Christmas library, "The Polar Express". We have been having a ton of fun learning about trains and the Arctic based on this book and movie, but I still can't believe that it is a positive thing to tell kids that if a stranger offers you a ride, you should say “Yes” so that you will get a free gift.  Then again, having a mystical steam engine pull into the driveway is a lot less threatening than a creepy guy circling the neighborhood, but it is still the wrong message to be sending our little ones.
The funny thing is - I still love these movies. All of them. They are part of the traditions that make this time of year feel special. So, if this post has scared or depressed you, click here and fill your brain with some more of these wonderful Christmas movies. I can guarantee that all of the characters will be happy at the end of the show and you will be reminded of great memories from your own childhood.

1 comment:

Nate, Michelle, Trent, Dylan and Aliya said...

Very true! But think of the movies with out those characters and bad decisions, they just wouldn't be the same! :)I agree I LOVE CHRISTMAS MOVIES!