This week, my wife and I watched a couple of what used to be called “B-grade” movies in the old days. They had mostly lesser known actors and actresses and both were supposedly about Christmas. (My wife LOVES anything about Christmas, while I bite my tongue, since I no longer believe that Christians should celebrate it.) She picked the movies up a few years ago in Chinamart’s $5 bin. They’re those basically clean little movies you see that many Christian parents get to watch with their kids, since most of what’s in the theaters is filth.
The first was about a couple of journalists at competing newspapers that get into a battle in print about the pluses and minuses of the Christmas season. The interesting thing is that I remember no mention of God, Jesus or even wise men in the story. There were a couple lusty, but discrete characters and maybe a Santa Claus or two, plus a half-decent plug for “family.”
The second movie was about a couple kids who are shacking up in New York City. The boy takes his fiancée and her parents to somewhere in small town America, where Christmas is an insane obsession. The girl and her parents are Jewish, while the boy and his parents are “Christian.” You can tell the movie was written and directed by big city snobs, as the locals were portrayed as bubble-headed idiots, while the Jewish New Yorkers were basically normal.
The movie had several predictable little subplots, which made it a bit less one-dimensional, which was good. There were the expected social conflicts arising from such a match up. The Jewish traditions were portrayed reasonably well, but the “Christian” part was centered at a typical small church Christmas program where the boy’s ex-girlfriend (playing Mary to his Joseph) tried to seduce the guy into leaving his fiancée to come back to the village and “the people who knew him” (meaning mainly her, it was obvious). The take off of the movie was that the young couple would forge their own “new” holiday traditions (after he accepted her vegan, anti-gun, anti-hunting ways, of course).
The problem was that if either of them had taken their religion seriously, they would have understood that their traditions shouldn’t have been about “what worked” for them, but about what God expected. Incidentally, you got the impression that there was going to be a lot more Judaism in the new family than Christianity.