The other night, the kids and I settled in on the couch to watch the Grinch, and it was super lovely, one of those rare moments when no one is fighting and everyone’s enjoying themselves. When the Grinch was over, a relatively new Christmas special came on called “Shrek the Halls.” The kids begged to watch til a commercial, and I said okay. When the commercial came, we were really enjoying it, so I let them stay up to watch the whole thing (mom points! tired kids!).
We generally enjoy the Shrek franchise, being huge Michael Myers fans from way back to Wayne’s World, and this was no exception. Eddie Murphy always plays Donkey with the perfect mix of annoying total loyalty, so that Shrek chases him away but feels terrible about it.
One thing stood out to me though, and this is a theme throughout these recent Christmas specials (and some of the older ones). Shrek admits that it’s his first time to celebrate Christmas, and goes to a village to figure out what to do. He buys a book called, “Christmas for the Village Idiot,” which details how to celebrate Christmas.
Most of it is pretty standard stuff, cook, decorate, etc. But the last instruction, and the most important, is to “tell the Christmas story.”
In the words of my 7-year-old, “THAT wasn’t the Christmas story!”
I am not cranky about this, I promise. It’s just a little baffling to me that the Christmas story, instead of the manger and the shepherds and such, is “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” I am not making this up.
It’s never been so very clear to me, even in the midst of this fun, silly, Christmas special, that we need a Christmas story with a miracle happening right in front of our eyes. I totally agree that Christmas isn’t Christmas until we tell the Christmas story!
I mean, the REAL one.
Dear Tiny Infant Jesus, be with those Hollywood people. Let them know that there’s a much better story than the one that someone thought up in the last century or so. Give us all the courage to tell the story of hope for the hopeless, the poor being raised up, the strong being made lowly, by your grace and love. Amen.