The Lies of Christmas

candlesMy wife and I have been watching Christmas movies this week. I’m struck with how many plots are driven by a lie. Or falsehood, or fib, or what-have-you if you want to whitewash it. I’m not talking about Virginia, mind you. The woman who got a boyfriend for Christmas who declined to give his real name. The Christmas bride who hid that she was a journalist. The woman who read a letter to Santa, then stalked the widower dad to try to marry him.

Sure, all these stories had a happy and mostly sympathetic ending. And is it just modern tv movies? I don’t think so. Even in the classics, Cary Grant hid his real identity from everybody but the bishop, one of those guys in White Christmas really wanted to come clean, and even in one of my favorites, Barbara Stanwyck poses as a married chef when she is so obviously neither. But in the end, her boss, her friend and her new love are all okay with it. Or maybe it’s just Barbara Stanwyck.

Seen any good Christmas movies this year? It seems Hallmark has a whole industry churning them out. I haven’t seen anything really amazing. Once in a while, I cut the smart-aleck commentary when something seems slightly thoughtful. Maybe that movie North Pole was cute and slightly striking, but then I found a sequel is in the works.

I still think Elf is the only good movie Will Farrell has done without Emma Thompson. That is headed to being a classic. And funny, the secrets are all unraveled as they come. There are no lies or deceptions. And the movie is both hilarious and touching.

Any new favorites, especially ones that surprised you?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to The Lies of Christmas

  1. Hey Todd, a happy fourth Advent to you.
    Re-watching “The Hundred Foot Journey” this week reminds me that the most Christian-bathed films generally have a gastronomical premise. Whether “Babette’s Feast,” “The Big Night,” or “Hiro Dreams of Sushi,” or viticulture like “A Good Year” or “Bottle Shock,” it seems to me that these are by far more authentically Christological than Nativity depictions, or those of Dickens. I mean, like where do we encounter Him most of the time in the Gospels?

  2. crystal says:

    I haven’t seen any new movies that could qualify as Christmas movies but here are a few old ones I liked …. The Bishop’s Wife, The Wool Cap (William H. Macy), While You Were Sleeping.

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