Love Actually, the British drama/comedy/love story(ies), is less than 10 years old, but it’s become a total classic for many of us. Now you can make a fun game of spotting the future star in the movie, like Andrew Lincoln of Walking Dead, Martin Freeman of Sherlock and The Hobbit, January Jones, Keira Knightly, on and on.
There’s so much going on, but what I noticed first is that Christmas in England is a cultural event. In the US we get so much of our Christmas tradition from the UK. When the puritans first came to America, and even into the late 1800s, the strict religious communities (comparable to the religious Right of today) banned celebrations of Christmas! The “war on Christmas,” in that time, was actually against any public celebrations with trees and decorations and such, because the preachers of that time felt that it trivialized Jesus’ birth.
Think about that for a minute.
In Love Actually, the British celebration is really highlighted. Everything gets a little bit sparkly and special at Christmas, and that’s cultural more than it’s Jesus-y, but I do like to think that God coming to earth has something to do with that spirit as well.
But mostly, I want to challenge all of us, myself included, to think about how we celebrate Christmas, and why. If you aren’t a Jesus person and you celebrate it culturally, there’s still much beauty to choose from with the lights in darkness, trees, waiting for the solstice, and the evergreens. But if you are a Christian (or Christian-ish), think about what we’re really waiting on: the arrival of this precious child, who, impossibly, gives us all hope.
Stay tuned for Love Actually, Part Two, tomorrow!