What I Want for Christmas

I’m a bit blue this year. I keep hearing over and over from friends of all ages that this year they just can’t get excited about Christmas. I know what they mean. I feel it too.

This whole year has disappointed me. My husband and I both work in the building industry, which has all but collapsed, leaving us scraping every week to make ends meet.

My extended family has experienced much trouble because of extremely poor choices. At best our relationships are strained.

In the past months we have dealt with the loss of friends and family members, and the general busyness that separates people. Even in our overly-connected world it’s easy to feel lonely.

Where is the Christmas Spirit?

It’s not in department stores—I’ve checked. It’s not in the carols or Christmas music on the radio. I can’t even listen to a certain song about shoes. The Christmas Spirit isn’t in a red kettle next to a bell-ringer, and it’s not in a night of frantic gift-wrapping for needy children. Don’t get me wrong; those things help, but I didn’t find that magical spark there, either.

We didn’t find it in the many parties, gift-exchanges and Christmas light tours. It’s not in the cookies, pies or cakes, though I spent way too much time trying those out.

Last night my husband reminded me of a movie that reminded me of me—my search for that special sparkly feeling. It’s a Chevy Chase film, but not the one you might think. Funny Farm (1988), starring Chase and Madolyn Smith, is about a couple who are tired of city life and buy a small farm in picturesque Vermont.

Chase is a former sports writer who intends to write a novel. The pair soon discovers that their lovely postcard locale includes just as many (though different) troubles as the city. They want out, but need help from the townsfolk to “trick” unsuspecting buyers into purchasing their cursed property.

Smith’s character hands out Saturday Evening Post magazines to all the residents and offers to pay them to “become” the Norman Rockwell characters depicted on the covers. The plan is ingenious and entirely hysterical. I laugh harder every time I see the movie. The Christmas lights, the carolers, the cocoa—it’s all over the top, and it’s just what I want for Christmas.

I want that glistening feeling of laughter and warmth. I want my family to want to spend time together. I long for a moment of everyone sitting around the table sharing their hopes and dreams for the New Year. I want to open a present that is so terrific that even I didn’t know how much I wanted it. I want to be in a Norman Rockwell Christmas cover. It’s a bit much to ask, I know.

This year Christmas falls on Sunday, and that’s fitting. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, our Savior. It’s about worship and praise and giving Him our best. That’s where we will find the Christmas Spirit, because we will be in His presence.

Spend time with your family and friends. Share a time of praise and worship. Offer the best of yourself. Laugh. Cry. Give. Watch a silly movie. Enjoy.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas!