Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Saving Christmas?

First, an apology.

The Captain doesn’t normally give a movie review unless he has watched the entire movie. And as a significant point, we have only ever walked out on two movies. In this case, we stayed longer than anyone should have to. No one should have to endure this kind of abuse. Ever.

We do it for you, dear reader.

You’re welcome.

And for those of you into Numerology, here are some interesting facts:

            -I paid $5 for my ticket.
            -The movie was scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
-I paid $5 for a Coke. (Actually $5.25… which is really 5X5 more!)
-There were 5 people in the auditorium. (Okay, there were 5 people minus 2 in the auditorium.)
            -There were 5 previews before the movie started, a couple of which I would rather have been watching.
            -I knew I would hate this movie after the first 5 minutes.
            -I left the movie at 5:55 p.m. (well short of the 1 hour 20 minute run time)
            -I drank 5 glasses of wine afterward in an attempt to forget this movie. (…because, you know, I know it’s a school night!)

Eerie, am I right?

So tonight the Captain went to see the new movie, “Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas”.

No, it wasn’t a dare. We were just curious.

The movie begins with Kirk Cameron giving an incredibly boring monologue about how much he loves Christmas – “everything about Christmas!” 

"I love Christmas, I love everything about it," he says, from roasting chestnuts to drinking hot chocolate, and enjoying Christmas stockings, stories, trees, and food.

"I'm a sucker for all of it, and of course the nativity, and there's a lot of people who really want to put a big wet blanket on the celebration. It starts this time of year. You have people who want to pull down nativity scenes, you have lawsuits showing up in schools that can't have Christmas performances ... it has to be winter break or holiday break or sparkle season ... they want to take that out of Christmas so they don't offend people who hate Christmas. And then we have a new group who are telling us, convincingly, that Christmas is actually a celebration of paganism."

[Captain’s note: It is. Really.]

And Cameron’s even ready to take on those who claim that belief in Santa Claus is just “Elf Worship”.

Elf Worship?

"What are they gonna do next?” he declares. “Tell us that hot chocolate is bad, that the Druids invented it?"

Um, no, that would be the Swiss Miss!

So, after setting up a number of straw men to knock down with his smarmy charming Christian sincerity, Cameron explains to us that we’re all living in a story. And in our own story, we can be whatever we want to be.

In this particular story, produced by Liberty University and executive producer and evangelical poster-boy Kirk Cameron, Cameron is a smirking know-it-all who is going to explain everything we didn’t know about Christmas.

As if.

The plot – thin that it is – centers around Cameron’s sister’s Christmas party, and her Grinch-y husband who is just not in the Christmas spirit.

What? He thinks all the money wasted on Christmas trees and decorations and presents could go a long way toward feeding the hungry and digging wells and helping needy people?

How un-Christian!

(Ironically, his name is “Christian”!)

But fortunately, Kirk Cameron comes to the rescue!

Even though his brother-in-law leaves the party and seeks quiet refuge in his SUV parked in the driveway, Cameron just can’t let him be.

Everyone MUST love Christmas just as much as Kirk Cameron loves Christmas!

Even if it doesn’t make sense!

Seriously, this is the review from the Christian Post:

“…the historical references and reenactments featured in "Saving Christmas" lack any evidence of having actually taken place. And worse, Cameron's ideas about how Christmas traditions trace back to the Bible are without substance. In fact, biblical theologian Katie Hoyt McNabb told The Christian Post that nothing in "Saving Christmas" sounds "like a reasonable interpretation of Scripture.”

But obviously the good folks over at the Christian Post have been “drinking the Kool-Aid”!

The brother-in-law vents to Cameron about why he hates Christmas, pointing out all the foolishness and materialism of the current way we celebrate the popular holiday. And in a refrain reminiscent of Linus in “Charlie Brown Christmas”, he declares, “That’s not what Christmas is all about!”

But in the most condescending compassionate way possible, Kirk Cameron assures him, “It’s all about Christmas. All about Jesus. And you’re spoiling it for everyone!”

So, for instance, in response to his gullible brother-in-law’s concerns about the little snow-globe nativity scene his wife sets out each year amidst all the other Christmas crap decorations, Kirk Cameron has the following explanation:

Imagine that it’s a cave, not a barn. And imagine that the manger / feeding trough is just a hewn rock. And imagine that the “swaddling cloths” of the baby Jesus are the burial shroud of the crucified Lord. And suddenly it becomes obvious – the Nativity foreshadows the crucifixion!

So why wouldn’t you want to celebrate Christmas and Santa Claus and decorate your home and give presents to your children?

As for the timing of the Christmas celebration – another concern of the poor, misguided brother-in-law – Cameron has an answer for that too:

"The early church had plenty of good reasons to celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25, and it had nothing to do with the winter solstice. [Note: he does not outline these reasons.] By the way, last I checked? It was God who made the winter solstice when he set the planets on their path around the sun. And it's actually quite fitting that we celebrate the birth of Jesus in the bleak midwinter, when the world appears to be sleeping and dying."

For what it’s worth, “In the Bleak Midwinter” is a song in our hymnal, not a passage from scripture.

As for sourcing, apparently good Christians listen to FOX News (I sh*t you not!), and non-believers / “pagans” get their information from Wikipedia!

At this point I was beginning to wonder if the concession stand sold Advil…

I was already itching to leave the theater, but then Kirk Cameron began explaining the Christian message behind the Christmas Tree.

I knew this would be too good to miss.

So, apparently, the Christmas Tree represents the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.

Because it’s an evergreen.

I know. But stay with me here.

And we all decorate our Christmas trees with lights and fake fruit.

We do?

So when the “First Adam” stole fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the “Second Adam” [Jesus] replaced it by hanging himself on a tree [i.e. the cross].

Because, you know, the only way to amend for stealing something is to replace what you have stolen.


So, as Kirk Cameron explains to his increasingly gullible brother-in-law:

"When you walk into a Christmas tree lot, I want you to see hundreds of crosses that will never be used because of Jesus' finished work."

And at that declaration, the Captain got up and left.

If you want to read more about this movie – from someone who actually stayed to the end – go to this review by Kelly Faircloth at Jezebel.

Fortunately “Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas” is only slated to be in theaters for two weeks.

Hopefully not enough time to damage too many malleable minds.

And if you want to see a good movie that has a real Christian message, the Captain recommends Angelina Jolie’s movie “Unbroken” or “The Theory about Everything”, the story of Stephen Hawking’s life.

Movies with a message.

And if you want to know the true meaning of Christmas...

...stay tuned!