Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Putting on the Santa Suit

Recently, I shared with you about why I think it's OK for Christians to believe in Santa Claus (sort of). Today, I thought I'd have a little bit of fun and continue with some thoughts on another great Santa movie - The Santa Clause. In this modern classic, Tim Allen is Scott Calvin, a divorced dad who wakes up to find Santa Claus on the roof of his house. When Santa gets startled and falls off the roof, Scott unwittingly puts on the suit and becomes the new Santa, but this isn't all easy for him to believe or accept at first...

It's an interesting movie, because (like many parents) Scott really wants his kid, Charlie, to believe in Santa - and he even pretends to believe, himself, at first - but when Scott actually begins the process of transforming into Santa, he doesn't believe what's happening, and he even tries to fight against it.

I think there are many parents who act the same way when it comes to Christianity. They want their kids to believe, and they claim to believe, themselves, but when it comes to making lifestyle changes and personal sacrifices, or when they hear that their kids want to become pastors and missionaries, they begin to fight against it. Do you really believe in Jesus and the changed life he calls us to, or do you believe - as the adults in Charlie's life do - that "Santa is more of a feeling, more of a state of mind than an actual person"?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Real Santa Claus

Last year, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I posted a four-part series looking at Biblical messages found in some of my favorite Christmas programs. I'll post links to those posts at the bottom of this page, for easy reference.

Young Natalie Wood pulls on Edmund Gwenn's beard
to find out if he might really be Santa Claus
Today, I'd like to talk about a couple more holiday classics. First, there's Miracle on 34th Street. Although there have been several versions, I don't think you can beat the 1947 original. Edmund Gwenn, stars as Kris Kringle, an elderly man who gets a job as a department store Santa and makes a big stir by insisting (and eventually proving) he's the real deal!

The other classic I want to mention today is... Ernest Saves Christmas! I realize it's not really on the same level as Miracle (which won multiple Oscars and was nominated for Best Picture), but it's a lot of fun, and I like to watch it every year! Here, Douglas Seale is an aging Santa Claus looking for someone to take his place. These two movies are very different from each other, I know, but Gwenn and Seale both make excellent Santa Clauses, in my opinion!

I think part of what I like about these two movies (and the reason I brought them both up today) is the fact that they both ask the question: What if Santa Claus was a real person?