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Saving Christmas

There are a bajillion Christmas books and movies out there where fill-in-the-blank protagonist saves Christmas. Usually “save Christmas” means “enable Santa Claus to deliver presents on time.” I’ve seen some wonderful iterations of this story and some terrible ones. This afternoon I was faced with yet another version and I had a moment of clarity. I figured out why How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my very favorite Christmas stories. It is the only one I’ve ever seen that says Christmas is strong instead of weak. It says that Christmas can’t be destroyed, that it exists separate from presents and the trappings of traditional celebrations. In fact, Christmas saves the Grinch, not the other way around. That’s a message I can really believe. It is also a reminder that I need.

I often get tangled up in my own version of saving Christmas. There is this long list of things that I feel like I must do correctly or else the holiday will be ruined. I spend so much energy doing things that are the metaphorical equivalent of saving Santa. I need to remember that there are better Christmas stories to dwell inside. Give me a Herdman-style Christmas where somehow the chaos of everyone colliding with each other turns into something beautiful after all. Or the Christmas where everyone sings whether or not there are presents.

I guess this year I really need the stories where things turn out okay whether or not the protagonist makes all the right choices. Which, when I think about it, is right in tune with the first Christmas story. That’s the one where a baby is born and he becomes the means by which all of our mistakes can be redeemed. That’s the point, we don’t save Him. He saves us. I don’t have to make Christmas or save it. I need to open up so that it can take up residence inside me.

4 comments to Saving Christmas

  • I agree, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas stories for a similar reason. In fact, no one really “saves” Christmas in the story. If anything, Christmas saves the Grinch, which is kind of the point of Christmas in the first place. 🙂

    Also, I received your Christmas card in the mail the other day. I really appreciated it. It’s up on my wall with the others I’ve received this year. Merry Christmas to you and your family. 🙂

  • I love this post and your thoughts!

  • Sonya Robinson

    i went through the Schlock Mercenary Amazon.com link to purchase and send your two books to my granddaughter, who was adopted through open adoption by a wonderful couple who since adopted a little boy. this is the email i received from her adoptive mom:
    “Sonya I just wanted you to know that we got your packages in the mail and opened them today. We absolutely loved the Wildhorse imagination books. they might be the best books jessica has ever gotten because they describe her so perfectly. Thank you thank you thank you and we wish you a Merry Christmas! The Robertsons”