It may be difficult to recall the miracles as Christmas approaches. Here in the U.S. we have just survived Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. Both of these occasions encourage consumers to buy as many material goods as possible for the lowest prices. So the mad rush to Christmas Day has begun.
Does this annual focus on accumulating more stuff bother you as much as it does me? What happened to the wonder of the Incarnation? What about the miracle of Jesus’ birth when God Himself took on human flesh and was born of a virgin’s womb? Incredible news! Even more wondrous, He did it for us, to save us from our sin.
Unbridled materialism aside, the Christmas season is a wonderful time for families to enjoy holiday traditions like watching Christmas movies. Some of the most popular are Hallmark movies.
The Power of Christmas Movies
Ever since mid-October, Hallmark has been airing Christmas films filled with nostalgia, romance, and family celebrations. Even though these offerings have simple and predictable plots, people love them
John Stonestreet of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview shared on BreakPoint his theory that Hallmark movies help satisfy our “longing for an alternative to modern society and culture.”
Ironically, watching Hallmark movies on their channels also bombards us with the culture we’re supposedly trying to escape. Every few minutes, we have to endure several advertisements, most urging us to buy more stuff.
So Hallmark feeds us what we long for while conditioning us through their sponsors to crave what we don’t need.
Hallmark doesn’t shy away from authentic Christmas carols, though. We hear characters sing about Jesus, but the words rarely have an obvious effect on the singers. We hear “God and sinners reconciled” in upbeat background music – with no sense of the awe we should feel at that incredible gift.
Making Movie Time More Fun
Now please understand, I enjoy most Hallmark and other Christmas movies. I just want to urge Christian families to talk about what they’ve seen and heard after they watch them. Children and teens love talking about things they enjoy. The Christmas season is a great time to let them do just that while helping them understand more about the truths of our faith.
For example, the wonder expressed by the characters in most Hallmark and other Christmas movies has to do with “Christmas magic” or “Christmas miracles.” We hear little to nothing about the real miracle of Christmas, that God gave His Son for you and me. So after you watch a Christmas movie, discuss what the writers might mean by “Christmas magic” and “Christmas miracles.” Then ask them what they think are the true miracles of Christmas. Some topics you might discuss: a virgin bearing a son, angels announcing Jesus’ birth to shepherds, God in human flesh, the Creator taking on the form of a created being, a Savior born to die for us, Old Testament prophecies fulfilled, etc.
Dr. Ted Baehr of Movie Guide suggested in an interview he did with us that we use movie nights to help train our families to discern the messages in the movies we watch. He wrote a family devotional, Reel to Real,to help us pull out biblical principles from movies to apply to our lives. Some of those movies include Christmas movies.
So in the mad rush before Christmas, I hope you’ll take time to relax with your family, enjoy some good Christmas movies, and recall the miracles. Focus on the greatest miracle of the season – the Light of the World, our Savior born in Bethlehem who came to redeem us from our sin.
Here are links to reviews I wrote for some Christmas movies that might help:
The Promise: Birth of the Messiah
Please share about your favorite Christmas movies in the comments below.