My movie group talked over the whole of the film Saving Christmas today. Produced and directed and starring Darren Doane and a fair chuck of his and Cameron’s relatives, what we did pay attention to was a ham-handed, heavy-handed attempt to tie everything tangentially related to Christmas to the story of Christ and the True Meaning (TM) of the holiday.
Much laughter came from trying to put Christmas trees in the Garden of Eden. Apparently, this was an actual thing:
wooden pyramid trees were meant to be like Paradise Trees. These were used in medieval German Mystery or Miracle Plays that were acted out in front of Churches on Christmas Eve. In early church calendars of saints, 24th December was Adam and Eve’s day. The Paradise Tree represented the Garden of Eden. It was often paraded around the town before the play started, as a way of advertising the play. The plays told Bible stories to people who could not read.
And they linked the baby’s swaddling clothes to the Turin Shroud because why not. The whole point of Christmas is that Jesus dies at the end, dontcherknow…Happy Christmas, see you next Easter..
The meaning of Christmas lights got a mention as having to do with the light of the Word or somesuch. As a Gizmodo article notes:
The evolution of the Christmas light parallels that of the light bulb, with some remarkably ornate—OK, tacky—variations. But regardless of how they look, one thing’s for certain: They’re a much better option than sticking a candle in a tree.
Today we look at Christmas lights and think “Oh, those are pretty.” But the tradition of lighting lights in the winter months didn’t start off with aesthetics in mind. December is the darkest month of the year with the shortest days. People living without central heating in the 12th century were understandably unhappy when the sun went down and plunged them into the cold depths of night.
Saint Nicholas/Sinterklaas was brought in to justify Santa’s Christian purpose, also.
It’s like Cameron and company remember that Jesus was supposedly born in Bethlehem during some monstrous child culling/census-taking, but otherwise, every ancient European winter tradition known under the sun and moon to coincide with Christ’s assumed birth month have to be co-opted into Christianity in order to legitimize doing any of it. Evergreens, lights.. I’m surprised holy candy canes and spider-influenced spiritual tinsel didn’t get noted. That would have added to their 80 minute run-time and then they wouldn’t have needed a nine minute dance number at the end.
With a token black beat-boxer and shit raps. (Shittier than this one, even.)
Bottom line, there is no war on Christmas and anyone who says otherwise is lying. Shouting “Happy Holidays!” does not mean Christmas is under fire or dead. It just means the shouter knows that several other holidays are happening in December, too and it’s polite to recognize them in case a listener cares about any of them in particular.
Not everyone you meet on a street or in a store will be Christian anymore.
That’s not reality in most cities anymore.
It’s troubling to run into people who don’t get that. Truly troubling.