Turn on the television at any time of day and you can find a Christmas movie.
Hallmark and Lifetime start the first of November and run them non-stop!
I’ll admit, I enjoy many of these movies. After all, as Santa for over 30 years, I like to see how Santa is portrayed in different productions. But, let’s face it, we all know the ending from the first five minutes of the show. There are times I even think “I’ve seen this movie!”. But, then I look at the guide and see that it’s a new production. Almost all are predictable with a similar plot.
We could probably say the same about many movies not related to the holidays, but there is something unique about these two months full of merriment and joy.
They all have a happy ending where life is wonderful! Do they give us a “warm ,fuzzy” feeling? Sure. Is this realistic and reflective of what happens in real life?
For many, far from it! The most important question I ask is, “Does it point people to Christ?”
Very few Christmas movies share the story of Bethlehem. And, let’s be honest. When was the last time you saw anyone dance to “Away in a Manger”? I always chuckle when I see some of these unusual scenes inserted into movies.
These movies are great at emphasizing family and relationships. After all, who hasn’t had a bad relationship, been estranged from family, met someone else, fallen in love, broken up and gotten back together to live happily after……. In a week or less! I’ve seen longer courtships portrayed in a 30-minute western from the 1950s!
Watching the umpteenth movie of the season, my mind drifted to another question. What does this say about our expectations of how life really is?
How do these movies point anyone to Christ? There are often church scenes and Christmas carols, but they are minimal parts of the plot. Thinking back to my love of old westerns, Mr. Paladin on “Have Gun, Will Travel” and the characters in “Wagon Train” made more references to God than a modern movie does.
Even as I portray Santa Claus, my goal is to share the love of Christ and point people to the manger. Contrary to what some believe, Santa does much more than take orders from a wish list! In reality, that is only a small portion of the conversation, at least for this particular man in red. Oftentimes, very few words are said. Simply a hug and a smile. Communication doesn’t have to be verbal.
Christmas time should be a time of joy and giving. But it also should be a time of renewal and a reminder of the very first Christmas, including the sacrifice that was made for mankind. It should also be a time of receiving! A time of receiving and accepting the responsibility God has given each of us to minister to others.
This Christmas, I pray we all remember……. Life doesn’t always end like a Hallmark movie. Many face challenges that we can’t see. As we receive God’s love and blessings, share that same love and our blessings with those that God places before us.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do
everything for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Durward Blanks has been a professional Santa Claus/ St. Nicholas for over thirty years. He is a motivational speaker and writer and enjoys sharing his many life experiences with others. As a follower of Christ, his mission is to share God’s love with as many as possible. You may contact Santa Durward at [email protected] or phone 615.496.1368