By Debra Torres _ On Saturday night, I sat down with my family and a nice cup of tea to watch my first Christmas movie of the season.
I had seen an ad for the movie on a Christian website that I frequent, and when a friend later pointed me to it, telling me she knew the screenwriter, well, I knew the film was a must see.
The movie, “Christmas with a Capital ‘C’,” is set in the small town of Trapper Falls, Alaska. It is about an attorney who, after many years,
returns to his hometown of Trapper Falls to live.
Upon his arrival, the attorney quickly stirs up trouble about the town’s longstanding Christmas display traditions.
He points out that since their nativity scene is funded by the town and displayed on government property, it violates the constitution’s Establishment clause, and he promptly files a lawsuit against the town for the religious display.
Townsfolk begin to run scared and start exchanging their “Merry Christmas” signs for “Seasons Greetings,” and they start wishing each other a “Happy Holiday” to avoid any “religious” offense.
My ire was raised right along with the Christian townspeople in the movie. How dare they try to take Christ out of Christmas? Who do they think they are anyway?
But you know, the Christians in the movie came to a good conclusion in their legal battle over Christmas, and it spoke a clear message to my heart. It was a reminder that I’d like to take on with me as I navigate the holiday in this special month.
You see, in the movie one character hits the nail on the head when it comes to the meaning of the season. Here is what she said: “Christmas starts with a capital C – the C comes from a name – Christ. Christ the Lord is the center of Christmas, not our rights, not our traditions, none of that matters if it starts to detract us from the one whose birth we celebrate.If we spent less time worrying about our rights and more time worrying about other’s needs, then I think we might actually be doing Christmas.”
Although the Christians in the town tried to fight “fire with fire” in the beginning of the movie, they decided to take their struggle now from a whole different angle. And, to see if their strategy works, well, you’ll just need to watch the movie!
_ I like the approach the town took to their problem, because, well, it just seemed to make sense.
And it gave me gave me an alternative way to look at some of the difficulties in my own life.
And, well, when it comes to Christmas, I know that I could make some good changes.
Take commercialism for instance, should I gripe about the Christmas trees being set up in Wal-Mart way before Thanksgiving, or do I give the manager a smile and a word of encouragement?
And, often I fall into the trap of thinking that Christmas is all about me. I catch myself wondering what I need to buy or attend that will give me that special Christmas “feeling.”
If I happen to get the “Christmas warm fuzzies” a little early after watching a movie or seeing a play, will it be able to last the whole way through? Better go buy another gift or make another batch of cookies just to be sure.
But what if Christmas isn’t about me or you? What if we decided to “do” Christmas this year just like in the movie, instead of waiting to see what Christmas will “do” for us?
Now, I know that the idea of “doing” one more thing can set some of us overscheduled folk over the top. When I first started brainstorming, I had concocted a great plan, but I nearly broke out into a sweat just thinking of all that extra work.
But what if we get a little creative and find a way to “weave” some special Christmas moments into our month? Here are a few that we could try this year:
-Hand deliver a special note of thanks to a local government employee.
-Visit one neighbor that you haven’t seen in a while. (Plate of cookies optional.)
-Shovel someone’s walk or driveway.
-Call a distant relative and spread some Christmas cheer.
-Write an encouraging note to your favorite blogger! Here are some Bible verses that'll help you on your journey:
Matthew 5:16 New Living Translation In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
1 John 3:17 Amplified Bible But if anyone has this world's goods (resources for sustaining life) and sees his brother and fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live and remain in him?
Hebrews 13:16 New International Version And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.