Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Real Meaning of Christmas in Movies

The Real Meaning of Christmas

This topic was discussed in-brief on Gus Lloyd's Seize the Day radio program (The Catholic Channel - Sirius 159), Friday, December 22, 2006. On this blog, beginning with this post, you'll find four descriptions of four DVD movies, and how each, in different ways, explains the real meaning of Christmas.

This time of year, just before Christmas, we are inundated with messages that purportedly are about the Christmas season. Oft times, however, these messages have little to do with the real meaning of Christmas, and a great deal to do with greed, materialism, and money.

This may also be true of movies that claim to be about the real meaning of Christmas, which on closer inspection appear to have nothing at all to do with Christmas. The movie may contain background Christmas carols, tinsel, lights, snow, and decorated trees, and a multitude of Christmas shoppers, amazingly with purchases popping out of sacks already wrapped and ribboned—but no mention of Jesus, Mary, the Wise Men, angels or shepherds. Could these movies possibly be about Christmas at all?

Indeed they could be.

The explanation as how they can be significantly about Christmas has everything to do with what movies are really about as I discuss in my book, The Moral Premise. There is the explicit or outward story, that which is conspicuously evident through sight and sound (what movies are simply about). But then there is the implicit or inward story, that which is subconsciously supporting the character's motivations (what movies are really about).

Let me summarize for you four Christmas themed movies (see the other related posts), and why each is about the true meaning of Christmas, although two of them never mention Jesus. Each of these films are available on DVD through Netflix, and often are aired on television. Each of these can provide meaningful viewing opportunities with your family.

The four movies that are discussed in separate posts are:
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (1965, TV-Animated, 30 min)

THE FOURTH WISE MAN (1985, TV-Live Action, 72 min)

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946, Theatrical-Live Action, 72 min)

MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (1994, Theatrical-Live Action, 114 min)

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