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THE 25 DAYS OF

CHRISTMAS

FINDING JESUS WHERE HE


SEEMS TO BE MISSING

Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 3
#1 Its A Wonderful Life (1946) ............................................................................................................... 4
#2 Miracle on 34th Street (1947) ........................................................................................................... 6
#3 Scrooge (1951) ................................................................................................................................... 7
#4 Lassies Christmas (1958) ................................................................................................................... 8
#5 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) (R&B) .............................................................................. 9
#6 Davey & Goliath Christmas Lost & Found (1965) ......................................................................... 10
#7 Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) ...................................................................................................... 12
#8 Little Drummer Boy (1968) (R&B) .................................................................................................... 13
#9 Frosty the Snowman (1969) (R&B) .................................................................................................. 14
#10 Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970) (R&B) ................................................................................ 16
#11 The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974) (R&B) ............................................................................... 17
#12 Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974) (R&B)............................................................................ 19
#13 Frostys Winter Wonderland (1976) (R&B) .................................................................................... 21
#14 Rudolphs Shiny New Year (1976) (R&B) ....................................................................................... 22
#15 Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977) (R&B) .............................................................. 24
#16 The Small One (1978)..................................................................................................................... 25
#17 Rudolph & Frosty: Christmas in July (1979) (R&B)......................................................................... 27
#18 Leprechauns Christmas Gold (1981) (R&B) .................................................................................. 29
#19 Home Alone (1990) ........................................................................................................................ 30
#20 Winnie the Pooh & Christmas, Too (1991) ....................................................................................... 32
#21 Home Alone 2 (1992) ..................................................................................................................... 34
#22 How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)......................................................................................... 35
#23 Polar Express (2004) ...................................................................................................................... 37
#24 Veggie Tales: Its a Meaningful Life (2010) .................................................................................... 39
#25 Arthur Christmas (2011) ................................................................................................................ 41
Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................... 42

Introduction
Every year ABC Family channel shows Christmas movies every night in December leading up to
Christmas as part its The 25 Days of Christmas. I enjoy Christmas movies and thought during the 25
days of December leading up to Christmas that I would share messages from my 25 favorites - putting
them in chronological order, rather trying to order them according to the strength of their message.
It is some of these very movies that caused me to write in my annual Christmas devotional (Christmas:
Gobbledygook or Good News) to co-workers in 2000 the following:
If someone, who had never heard of Christmas, were to watch television this time of year, they
would think this holiday was rather peculiar. They would see many pieces that didnt make a whole
lot of sense when put together:

There is a man named Elvis Presley whos Christmas is blue and another man named Bing
Crosby whose Christmas is white.

There is a man named George Bailey who comes to the end of himself and nearly commits
suicide around Christmas, but is shown by an angel named Clarence, who is trying to earn his
wings, that he has really lived a wonderful life.

There is a man named Santa Claus who lives at the North Pole and knows everything every
child does throughout the year and somehow miraculously delivers toys to all the good
children of the world on Christmas Eve.

This Santa Claus is helped by elves that make toys (except for one named Hermie who
becomes a dentist).

One year this Santa Claus was extremely discouraged and there almost wasnt a Christmas.
However, with the help of Mrs. Claus, Heat Miser, Snow Miser, Mother Nature and the
mayors of the country, Santas depression is lifted.

This Santa Claus becomes mad at the people in Junctionville because a mouse writes a letter
saying that Santa is a myth.

This Santa Claus ends up in a nursing home in Great Neck and is able work a miracle at
Macys on 34th Street in New York City, with the help of the United States Postal Service.

Flying reindeer make Santas world wind tour possible (particularly Rudolph who has a red
shining nose, which comes in handy when you are considering canceling Christmas due to
the weather).

This Rudolph is also instrumental in finding the Baby New Year named Happy, who is
anything but happy because of his big ears and in saving a circus with the help of his friend
Frosty, a talking snowman.

Frosty came to life one day when a magicians hat landed on his head. The magician melts
Frosty in a greenhouse in an attempt to retrieve his hat. However, since Frosty is made from
Christmas snow, he can never really disappear. He comes back again each year. Frosty
marries a snow woman named Crystal. A certain Jack Frost is the best man at the wedding.
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There is creature called a Grinch who tries to steal Christmas from the Whos down in
Whoville. He is aided by a dog named Maxx disguised as a reindeer. However, he is
unsuccessful and joins them in a feast of roast beast.

An orphan boy named Aaron plays his drum for a family in Bethlehem and his lamb, which
was nearly killed by a Roman chariot, is healed.

A donkey, with extremely long ears and couldnt play in any beast of burden games, named
Nestor carried the woman in this family to Bethlehem. However, there is a conflicting story
identifying this donkey by the name Small One.

A man named Ebenezer Scrooge hates Christmas and likes to say Bah Humbug until he is
visited by the ghost of his former business partner Marley and three other ghosts (the ghosts
of Christmas past, present and future).

A boy named Charlie Brown is always discouraged at Christmas time because no one sends
him cards or gifts. He picks a small Christmas tree for a play and is scorned by his friends as
a blockhead for not getting an aluminum tree.

Jesus should be front and center in every Christmas special, but of course, He is not. However, I cannot
expect the world to include Jesus in its Christmas celebration. They dont know Him. But instead I will
choose to look for Him, where He doesnt appear to be.
Honorable Mentions: Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966),
Cricket on the Hearth (1967), Little House on the Prairie: A Christmas They Never Forgot (1981), A
Christmas Carol (1984) with George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge, Miracle on 34th Street (1994) with
Mara Wilson as Susan Walker, and Eloise at Christmastime (2004).

#1 Its A Wonderful Life (1946)

I love the movie Its A Wonderful Life. Do you ever feel like George Bailey when he first met his
guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (i.e., the world would be better off without you)? I feel like that a lot.
Ive failed my wife, my kids, my mother, my friends, my co-workers, my neighbors and the list can go on
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and on. The thing is, when you dwell on the failures of the past, it tends only to cause you add failures in
the present. So how do you get clear of feelings of depression and move beyond your failures?
I dont claim to have the answer; otherwise I would not struggle with the problem. But in Philippians 3,
although not a passage about depression, I think the Apostle Paul gives us a principle that can help us
with these battles:
Not that I have already attained (i.e., the resurrection of the dead), or am already perfect; I
press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Messiah Jesus laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not
count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of
the upward call of God in Messiah Jesus. (vv. 12-14)
We are all in a race. In his first epistle to the believers in Corinth, Paul wrote, do you not know that
those who run in race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it
(9:24). How does a runner run to win? A runner has no chance of winning if he is constantly looking back
at the starting line or at other runners. As Paul, the runner must forget the things which are behind,
whether good or bad. On one hand, he may have gotten a bad start or he may have stumbled on the
first turn, but dwelling on those things will not help him with the race that is still before him. On the
other hand, he may have a quarter lap lead, but if he looks back to take pride in his situation, the runner
is likely to trip and fall flat on his face. As Paul, the runner must instead continuously press onward. The
apostle paints a picture of a runner leaning forward and sticking out his chest to reach the goal line first.
Part of the problem with depression comes from comparing ourselves to others. The thing we need to
comprehend is that we are each in our own race; we are not racing against other people. Paul indicates
that he wanted to lay hold of that for which Jesus had laid hold of him. Jesus said of Paul he is a chosen
vessel of Mine to bear My name before the nations, kings and the children of Israel (Acts 9:15). Most of
us do not have that calling. God has different plans for each of us Jesus did not lay hold of you for the
same reason that He laid hold of me. Much of George Baileys problems came from his own unfulfilled
dreams and his comparison of his lot with that of others. However, when he becomes content with
Gods plan, he asks God to let him live the life He had for him. Dont compare your life to that of others,
it is unwise. Be content with limits of the sphere which God has appointed you (2 Corinthians 10:12,
13). George Bailey was not called to build airfields and skyscrapers a hundred stories high or bridges a
mile long, but rather to be good husband, father and son and to be cooped up in a shabby office making
it possible for the people of Bedford Falls to have houses in which to raise their families.
It is highly unlikely that our guardian angel will show us what the world would be like if we were not
born. But we can follow the command of the author of Hebrews, let us run with endurance the race
that is set before us, looking onto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (12:1). Our focus should
not be ourselves, but Jesus. Our faith should not be in ourselves, but in Jesus, who will complete the
good work He began in us for He is not only to the author of our faith, but its completer.
If you are feeling like George Bailey, forget your failures and forge onto Jesus, Hes a Wonderful Lord.

#2 Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

In Miracle on 34th Street, Santa Claus (aka Kris Kringle) is able to get the two biggest department
stores in New York City (Macys & Gimbels) to set aside profits (sort of) and be primarily concerned with
the children and their parents. Last year my daughter Leah and I went to Macy's on 34th Street to try to
see the children with Santa up on the 8th floor, but the line was 2-3 hours long - needless to say we did
not wait. This film shows that people were concerned with the commercialization of this holiday at least
back to end of WWII. Macys Santa (Kris) and janitor (Alfred) have this conversation:
Kris: Imagine, making a child take something it doesn't want just because he bought too many of
the wrong toys. That's what I've been fighting against for years... the way they commercialize
Christmas.
Alfred: A lot of bad "isms floating around this world, but one of the worst is commercialism.
Make a buck. Make a buck. Even in Brooklyn, it's the same. Don't care what Christmas stands
for. Just make a buck.
Actually as can be seen in the conversation in the photo, Kris has been concerned about the state of
Christmas for 50 years. This puts the commercialization of Christmas back to the turn of the 20th
century.
It's sort of ironic that Kris indicates to Doris Walker that Christmas and he had become lost in the
shuffle. In America, Santa Claus is part of the reason that Jesus gets lost in the shuffle. I wonder how
many children who were on line that day at Macys had no idea that the reason for all this hullabaloo
was the birth of the Savior, Jesus the Messiah.

#3 Scrooge (1951)

According to the Wikipedia, Charles Dickens novella A Christmas Carol has been adapted upwards of
two hundred times in theatre, film, television, radio, and opera. Although the rest of my family favors
The Muppets Christmas Carol (second on my list), my favorite version is 1951 British black and white
film Scrooge starring Alistair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge.
In Scrooges conversation with the second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present says:
We Spirits of Christmas do not live only one day of our years. We live the whole 365. So it is
true with the child born in Bethlehem. He does not live in mens hearts one day in the year but
in all the days of the year. You have chosen not to seek Him in your heart; therefore, you shall
come with me and seek Him in the hearts of men of goodwill.
Not too many, if any other versions of A Christmas Carol, make reference to Jesus living in the hearts
of men. Although this is not in Dickens original, it is not inconsistent with the novelist. He wrote a book
for his children entitled, The Life of Our Lord, which includes these words in its opening paragraph:
You never can think what a good place Heaven is, without knowing who Jesus was and what He did.
Churches are often full on Christmas Eve and Easter morning. My mother-in-law referred to those who
attended only these two services as the C&E Club. But then again there are those who go to church
every Sunday, but leave Jesus out of their lives Monday through Saturday. We could call these the 52
Club. As the spirit tells Ebenezer, Jesus does not dwell in peoples hearts one day a year or one day a
week, but the whole 365. We could say that Jesus really only settle down and feel completely at home
(Ephesians 3:17 [Wuest]) in the hearts of those in the 365 Club.
The Ghost of Christmas Present indicates Ebenezers main problem is not seeking Jesus in his heart. And
so they take a trip to seek Him in the hearts of men of goodwill. Interestingly they do not seek Jesus in a
church, but in the everyday lives of people: (1) poor miners rejoicing in the birth of the Savior; (2) the
Cratchit family loving each other in the midst of poverty and Tiny Tims impending death; (3) nephew

Fred feeling sorry for his Uncle Ebenezer; and, (4) Alice (Ebenezers lost love) working in poor house,
taking care for the homeless, sick and dying.
This portion of the movie made me think about whether or not others, especially those who do not
know Jesus, are able to see Him through my attitudes, my words and my actions every day of the week?
One of my favorite songs by the Imperials includes these lyrics:
If not you, I wonder where will they ever find the One who really cares?
If not you, how will they find, the One who heals the broken heart, gives sight to the blind?
Chorus: Cause You're the only Jesus some will ever see
You're the only words of life, some will ever read
So let them see in you the One in Whom is all they'll ever need
You're the only Jesus, some will ever see
If not you, I wonder who, will show them love, and love alone can make things new?
If not you, how will they learn there's one who'll trade their hopelessness for joy in return?
(Chorus)
Bridge: So let Him shine, let Him show
Let them see the One in you, let this whole world know
Can those who do not seek Jesus, see Him in our hearts?

#4 Lassies Christmas (1958)

Most people are probably not familiar with this one. In this show, Lassie is owned by Ruth and Paul
Martin and their son Timmy. With Christmas approaching, the Martins are in Capital City doing some
shopping. Timmy and Lassie are waiting outside for his parents. On the opposite site of the street a
little girl is playing with a ball that goes out into the path of an oncoming truck. With her mom
momentarily preoccupied talking with someone, the girl runs out into the street to retrieve ball. Lassie

notices the truck and runs into the street to push the girl to safety, but in so doing she sustains a serious
head injury.
Lassies heroics make it into the newspaper and on the radio. The radio announcer references Jesus
words from John 15:13, Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down ones life for his friends,
saying of Lassie, Every parent and every dog owner should say a prayer for the recovery of this heroic
animal, who was willing to give up her life to save a child. Greater love hath no animal. Without the
cross and resurrection, Jesus birth in Bethlehem have no meaning. The veterinarian indicates that 99%
of the time the type of injury sustained by Lassie results in the animal being put to sleep. In a sense,
Lassie dies on behalf of the little girl she saved and comes back to life (after a successful brain operation
by a renowned animal surgeon).
In the photo, I have put Timmys prayer for his best friend. It is kind of funny that he asks God to get in
touch with Santa Claus, instead of simply asking God to heal Lassie. As the operation is about to begin,
Timmy assures Lassie that she will be alright since he said a special prayer for her. God certainly
answered the prayer, without any help from Santa Claus. When the mother of the child saved by Lassie
offers to pay the surgeon, he declines, indicating that there was much more than his skill at work it
was the prayers of many people and the faith of a little boy. A surgeons skill, peoples prayers and a
boys faith all point us toward God and away from Santa Claus.

#5 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) (R&B)

This movie marks the beginning of the Rankin and Bass era of Christmas specials, which would continue
for 20 years. I have 11 of 18 of their specials on my list I did not include Cricket on the Hearth
(1967), First Christmas Snow (1975), Little Drummer Boy, Book 2 (1976), The Stingiest Man in
Town (1978), Jack Frost (1979), Pinocchios Christmas (1980) and The Life and Times of Santa
Claus (1985).
The thing that strikes me in Rudolph is the baseless bigotry. A bigot is someone who is intolerant of
those who are different. From the time he is born, his red nose is something his father is ashamed of.
Instead of rejoicing in his sons God-given non-conformity (i.e., despite the claim in the movie
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Rudolph & Frosty: Christmas in July that Lady Boreal gave it to him), Donner forces Rudolph to hide his
light under a basket, I mean, a false nose. It is that red nose that will make him the most famous and
important of all Santas reindeer. But its not just his father that is a bigot. When Rudolphs nose is
exposed at the tryouts, Santa tells Donner he should be ashamed. Yes, Donner should be ashamed but
not for the reason Santa is inferring. Santa himself should have been ashamed for being a bigot. So
should Comet, for prohibiting Rudolph from taking part in reindeer games, and, Clarices father, for not
allowing her to be friends with a red-nosed reindeer.
The show exposes how stupid bigotry is whether it has do with race, age, religion, creed, political
views or any other form. Unfortunately, there are a lot of stupid people in the world, who think that
only their group was made in the image of God. It was 466 days before RTRNR was first televised on
December 6, 1964, that Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:
'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.' I have a dream that
my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of
their skin but by the content of their character.
A reindeer should be judged by his character, not by the color of his nose. In this movie, Rudolph risks
his life against the Abominable Snowman to save his family and Clarice. And we will see his shining
character in other movies in the coming days.

#6 Davey & Goliath Christmas Lost & Found (1965)

Growing up Lutheran, I watched Davey & Goliath nearly every Saturday morning for a significant portion
of my childhood, although I doubt I saw the first time that this episode was televised 50 years ago I
didnt know I was Lutheran when I was 3 years old.
In Christmas: Lost & Found, Davey starts off the episode with the startling declaration, I hate
Christmas! I cant feel Christmas this year. To try to fix his feelings, he decides to do a bunch of
Christmasy things. He buys a Christmas tree from Kenny Kelcey, a boy his age whose dad owns a tree
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farm in the country. He smells the tree, but smelling Christmas is not the answer. He goes shopping for
presents for his dad, mom, sister and friends. When Goliath asks him if hes got the Christmas spirit, he
replies, All I got is no money left. Walking home he hears the church bells playing It Came Upon the
Midnight Clear; however, hearing Christmas does not make him feel Christmas. He puts the
decorations on the house. When Goliath asks if he feels anything, Davey replies, Cold! When he
comes inside, Sally informs him that their mom made cookies. But as usual, tasting Christmas is not
feeling Christmas. Just then it begins to snow, which begins this conversation:
Davey: I can see Christmas, and smell it, and taste it, and hear it, but I cant feel Christmas.
Things dont seem to be it. Wheres the real Christmas?
Sally: You can see the crche now. Isnt it beautiful?
Davey: I guess so.
Sally: Thats the real Christmas right in there, Davey, cause right there is the most wonderful
present ever.
Davey: I know all that, but I dont understand it.
Sally: Thats why we give Christmas presents, so that well remember that God gave us Jesus.
Davey: I just dont get it, Sal.
Sally: Look close. Now do you get it?
Davey: Uh-uh, but I like that king.
Goliath: I like that camel.
Davey: Listen, maybe if I was a king like that Id really have the spirit of Christmas.
Sally: Now I dont get it.
Davey: A play, Ill get the gang and well put on a Christmas play.
He calls together a meeting of the Jickets and they make plans for play in which he will be one of the
wise men, Goliath will be a camel, Sally will be Mary and the other club members will make up the
remainder of the cast. It doesnt do much for his feelings about Christmas. As the he and his sister are
leaving the house for the Christmas Eve performance, Sally lights a candle by the crche. Davey asks
about it. Sally indicates that it is for a stranger that doesnt have anywhere to go or anyone to love him.
As Davey approaches the Christmas tree stand, he sees a lonely Kenny Kelcey and realizes that he is the
stranger that Sally referred to, working and sleeping in a strange town. Davey lets Kenny have his part in
the play the only thing he was enjoying about the holiday - while he minds the stand for him. As he
hears the play from afar, Davey is touched by the words born is the King in the First Noel, perfect
light in We Three Kings and Christ the Lord from Come Let Us Adore Him. He sells the last trees
and hurries home. He looks at the crche and says, I understand now. I found the real Christmas. Its
here. Heres the King. God loves us, so He gave us what He loved best. Like I loved Kenny and gave him
what I loved best. I love Christmas!
The things that most people associate with Christmas snow, trees, decorations, cookies, carols, and
presents have no meaning if Jesus is omitted. Until you come to understand that in this the love of
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God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might
live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the
propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:9, 10), Christmas makes very little sense. During one of the play
practices, one of the Jickets asked Davey why God gave His Son. Davey did not have an answer, so he
asked Sally. She replied, Because He loves us. Thats half the truth. John does not simply say, God
loved us and sent His Son. No, the apostle writes, God loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation
for our sins. Christmas has no meaning apart from the cross. Jesus was born to die for our sins. God
demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us (Romans
5:8). When it comes to celebrating Christmas dont leave out Jesus and dont leave out the cross.

#7 Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

If I had listed Christmas specials according to strength of message, I probably would have put this in the
#1 spot. In 2 days, it will be exactly a half a century since this was first televised on December 9, 1965.
The movie begins with Charlie Brown telling Linus that he is depressed about the coming of Christmas.
Linus says to him:
Charlie Brown, you're the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas
and turn it into a problem.
Well, that may be true, but the world has taken a wonderful event like Jesus birth and turned it into
gobbledygook. Charlie Brown was tired of cards he never got; spectacular, super-colossal,
neighborhood lights and display contests for winning money, money, money; sisters who wanted Santa
to bring her $10s and $20s; big, pink aluminum trees; and, friends who wanted to dance instead of
practice the Christmas play.
In total desperation, Charlie Brown finally cries out:
Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus then quotes Luke 2:8-14. The key to the passage is a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord. The angel
would not have been speaking Greek to Hebrew shepherds. In verse 9, we read about the Angel of the
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Lord and the glory of the Lord. In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), these two phrases are
used 35 and 50 times, respectively, and each time they are either glory of Yahweh or Angel of
Yahweh. So the angel is saying, a Savior, who is Messiah, Yahweh. The name Jesus or more properly
Yahushua means Yahweh is Savior. Savior from what you may ask? As the angel told Joseph, You
shall call His name Yahushua, for He will save His people from their sins. In Isaiah 43:11, we read: I,
even I, am Yahweh, and besides Me there is no savior. If Jesus will save His people from their sins and
there is no other Savior than Yahweh, then Jesus is Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament.
This is what Christmas is all about Yahweh coming as a man so that He might save us from our sins.
Although Linus may not have stated it this way, the Scripture he quoted does.

#8 Little Drummer Boy (1968) (R&B)

I remember thinking that the little drummer boy (LDB) was actually part of Biblical Christmas story. My
sister and I used to pretend that one of the shepherds in our crche was the LDB. But if you search the
accounts of Jesus birth in Matthew and Luke, you will not find the LDB.
Before it was expanded into R&B Christmas special, Little Drummer Boy was a song Carol of the
Drum written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941 and recorded by the von Trapp Family Singers
(Sound of Music) in 1955. In the song, the magi summon a poor boy to come before Jesus and we
hear the boy sing (less the rum pum pum pums):
Little Baby, I am a poor boy too
I have no gift to bring that's fit to give the King
Shall I play for you, on my drum?
Mary nodded, the ox and lamb kept time,
I played my drum for Him, I played my best for Him,
Then He smiled at me, me and my drum.
In the movie, the LDB is a boy named Aaron, who hates people because of robbers who had killed his
parents and burned down his home. Through a series of events, he ends up in Bethlehem the night of
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Jesus birth. His lamb Babba is hit by a Roman chariot is near death. He brings his lamb to one of the
three magi and they have the following conversation:
Aaron: My lamb has been injured! You must save him!
King: He is near death. Oh, lad, there is nothing I can do.
Aaron: Butbut you are a king!
King: A mortal king only. But there is a King among Kings who would save your little friend.
Aaron: The babe? But, I do not understand!
King: It is not necessary that you understand. Go to Him.
Aaron: ButII have no gift to bring!
King: Go. Look upon the newborn King.
After worshipping Jesus (i.e., playing his best for Him), his heart is changed how could it help not be,
for he had seen God.

#9 Frosty the Snowman (1969) (R&B)

If you were simply to listen to the song Frosty the Snowman, first recorded by Gene Autry in 1950, you
would see that it has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. However, as an R&B Christmas Special,
Frosty is made from Christmas snow. There are some interesting correlations between Frosty and Jesus.
1. Origin: Frosty was made of the first snow of the winter and not just any snow, but Christmas
snow. Since snow falls from the heavens, ultimately that is Frostys origin. The Nicene Creed
has these words regarding Jesus, who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from
heaven. Jesus said, I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of
this bread, he will live forever, and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for
the life of the world (John 6:51)
2. Human Nature United to Divine Nature: Frosty was the union of Christmas snow come down
from heaven and the magic in Professor Hinkles hat. Mary was told by the angel how she was
going to have a child even though she was a virgin, the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the
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power of the Most High will overshadow you, therefore, also that Holy One who is to be born
will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35).
3. Disciples: After Frosty comes to life, he gathers a group of children that follow him, in a manner
similar to Jesus disciples.
4. Conflict: The storyline in R&B Christmas special is the conflict between Professor Hinkle and
Frosty and his disciples, as the inept magician tries to get his hat back. From the gospels, we
see that a significant portion of Jesus ministry was the conflict with the Jewish religious
establishment Pharisees and Sadducees.
5. Laying Down Life: In an effort to escape the rising temperatures, Frosty takes a train toward the
North Pole, accompanied by one of his disciples, Karen. They are riding on refrigerated box car,
a splendid way to travel; splendid that is... if one is a snowman. Realizing that Karen will
freeze to death, Frosty gets her off the train and searches for a place to warm her up, all the
while being dogged by Professor Hinkle. Eventually Frosty comes upon a greenhouse used to
grow precious tropical poinsettias for Christmas. Professor Hinkle locks Frosty in the
greenhouse and the snowman melts, dies saving Karen. In the Fathers timing, Jesus allowed
Himself to be arrested and killed by His enemies. Jesus said, I lay down My life for the sheep
No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have the
power to take it up again (John 10:15, 18).
6. Resurrection: Santa (aka Father Christmas) arrives to find Karen crying over a puddle on the
floor of greenhouse; reminiscent of Mary Magdalene weeping at the grave of Jesus. Santa tells
Karen the words in the photo and then allows the freezing wind to restore the puddle into the
body of Frosty. Then Santa places the magical hat back on Frosty and he is resurrected. The
resurrection by the wind (Holy Spirit) and the Father Christmas (the Father) remind us:
declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the
resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4) and God raised up, having loosed the pains of death,
for it was not possible that He should be held by it (Acts 2:24).
7. Promise of Return: The movie ends with the words, Frosty the snowman had to hurry on his
way, but he waved goodbye saying don't you cry. I'll be back on Christmas day! Jesus had told
His disciples, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My
Fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a
place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to
Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1-3)
For a song that really has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, there is an awful lot about Jesus to be
seen if we just look.

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#10 Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970) (R&B)

This story is told by Fred Astaire, who gives voice to S. D. (Special Delivery) Kluger, a mailman who
delivers letters to the North Pole. He tells this story to answer all the questions that children have about
Santa Claus. Unfortunately, the song that gave rise to this R&B Christmas special gives God-like qualities
to a mere mortal He knows when youre sleeping, he knows when youre awake, he knows if youve
been bad or good. Thats the main reason that I did not want Leah & Wesley to believe in Santa Claus.
I was concerned if they found out Id been lying about one god-like being, they might assume that Id
been lying about the real God also. However, if I removed movies where Santa has a significant role, my
list of favorite Christmas specials would be cut in half. The sad thing is that if I remove the movies where
Jesus has any role significant or otherwise the list is only reduced by 20%.
In this story, the future Santa Claus is found as an abandoned baby and raised by a family of toy-making
elves surnamed Kringle. Of course, they name the baby Kris. The Kringles live on one side of the
Mountain of the Whispering Winds, which is inhabited by the terrible Winter Warlock (WW).
Unfortunately, the kids that could play with their toys live on the other side of the mountain in
Sombertown, which is ruled by the terrible Burgermeister Meisterburger (BMMB); so the toys simply
pile up. When Kris grows to be a man, he delivers the presents to the children of Sombertown, despite
the fact that BMMB has outlawed toys. On his return trip, he is captured by the WW. Kris gives him a
toy choo-choo train. This act of kindness melts the heart of the WW. This made me think of Pauls
words:
What makes you think that you, who so readily judge the sins of others, can consider yourself
beyond the judgment of God? Are you, perhaps, misinterpreting Gods generosity and patient
mercy towards you as weakness on His part? Dont you realize that Gods kindness is meant to
lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:3, 4)
Gods generosity and patient mercy are meant to lead us to repentance, a melted heart (2:5). We
should not judge the lack of judgment on the part of God as slackness, but rather love leaving room for
us to repent (2 Peter 3:9).
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The Winter Warlock is concerned that he cannot sustain this change of heart. Kris sings him the song,
Put One Foot in Front of the Other. During this song, the WW sings:
If I want to change the reflection, I see in the mirror each morn.
You mean its just my election, to vote for a chance to be reborn.
That statement is not Biblically sound. Even though it is Gods goodness that leads us to repentance,
that repentance is also a gift. We read in the New Testament:
Him (Jesus) God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to
Israel and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:31)
When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, Then God
has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life. (Acts 11:18)
Both repentance and faith (Ephesians 2:8) are gifts from God, not something that we come up with on
our own. New birth is totally the work of the Holy Spirit, not a response to something that we do. The
new heart repents and puts its faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; we are not given a new heart because we
repent and believe. John writes in the prologue of his gospel:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those
who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will
of man, but of God. (1:12, 13)
You had nothing to do with your physical birth and, if you have been born again, you had nothing to do
with that either there is nothing to boast about it is the sovereign work of Yahweh. The WW was
wrong, you didnt vote to be reborn. His heart melted as a result of the kindness shown to him by Kris
he had nothing to do with it.

#11 The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974) (R&B)

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This story is narrated by Shirley Booth, who gives voice to Mrs. Claus. Santa Claus is feeling too sick and
discouraged to make his annual trip around the world on Christmas Eve. The family physician, Dr.
Bobbin, says to him, If you had any sense, you'd give it up as a bad job and stay home in bed this year.
In reply, Mrs. Claus says something that is ridiculous: Oh come now, if Santa stayed home, why there
would be no Christmas! Oh come now, Mrs. C, lets see where that logic gets us:
Proposition #1: Without Santa, there is no Christmas.
Proposition #2: Santa does not exist.
Conclusion: There is no Christmas (i.e., no celebration of Jesus birth)
Also at one point in the story, Mrs. Claus is having problem with the Miser Brothers Heat Miser and
Snow Miser so she says she must go over their heads to the top to Mother Nature, not to God. Who
knew that the Claus were evolutionists? Mother Nature makes one of most obvious mistakes in the
movie. She turns to Snow Miser and tells him to allow a little snow fall in the South (hed love to, but he
does not have the authority to do it, Heat Miser does), and then turns to his brother, Heat Miser, and
tells him to allow just one spring day at the North Pole (hed love to, but he does not have the authority
to do it, Snow Miser does). Mother Nature may not know what she is doing, but thankfully Yahweh
always does .
Well, leaving behind Mrs. Claus messed up views of Christmas and Creation, Id like to focus on Santas
song I Believe in Santa Claus in response to Ignatius (Iggy) Thistlewhites declaration that he is too old
to believe. Santas portion of the song could very well be changed to:
I believe in Jesus Christ, like I believe in love.
I believe in Jesus Christ and everything He does.
Theres no question in my mind that He does exist.
Just like love I know Hes there, waiting to be missed.
But the reason that is true in my heart is because back in March 1982 God granted me repentance and
faith. I had gone to church all my life, but it wasnt until then when God revealed His Son in me
(Galatians 1:16).
When Iggys father was his sons age, he had come to the conclusion that Santa did not exist. It was not
until he actually met Santa Claus one Christmas Eve that the faith he had as a child merely because his
parents told him about it, became really a part of him. From that moment, it was his faith, not theirs. In
a similar fashion, it must always be remembered that God has no grandchildren. I cannot believe for my
son and daughter, any more than you can believe for your children. We can bring them up in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), but a time must come when they must receive or
reject the Lord Jesus for themselves. In the spirit of Santas words to Iggys dad, rejecting Jesus is
rejecting all that makes life worthwhile but its a decision they must make.
As I wrote this I thought of the words of the Samaritans to the woman who had spoken with Jesus at the
well:
Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know
that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world. (John 4:42)
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Our prayer for the children in our lives would be that they believe in Jesus because they have heard Him
themselves and not just what we told them about Him.

#12 Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974) (R&B)

This special is based upon a poem (A Visit from St. Nicholas) first published unanimously in the Troy
Sentinel on December 23, 1823. It was later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore. As a side note, the
college that I attended (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) is located in Troy, NY and was established less
than a year later on November 5, 1824.
There are a couple of things that I dont like about his movie. The story begins with everyone in
Junctionville with their letters to Santa returned and stamped Not Accepted by Addressee. The
reason this letter in the local newspaper:
Dear Editor, Santa Claus is a fraudulent myth rooted in unconscious fantasies and emerging as
a deceitful lie. P.S. The reindeer are phony too. Signed, All of Us
So Santa is going to punish an entire town because of short note written to the editor of a small
newspaper by a young mouse (Albert) and his friends. One of the most amazing summaries of the
character of God is found in Exodus 34:6, 7 (and it is repeated often in the Old Testament):
Yahweh, Yahweh God, merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abounding in lovingkindness and
faithfulness, keeping lovingkindness for thousands [generations of those who love Him and keep
His commandments], forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and making innocent, He will
not make innocent, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and upon the childrens
children upon the third and upon the fourth generation [of those who hate Him].
The Hebrew phrase translated longsuffering literally means slow nostrils. A person's nostrils will
flare when he or she is angry. It takes a long time for Gods nostrils to flare He is slow to anger. Yet
Santas nose gets all bent out of shape about some honest questioning by a young mouse.

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The mice live in the house of Joshua Trundle, a clockmaker. He proposes to appease Santa by building
a singing clock tower, designed to play a special song to coax him not to bypass Junctionville. Most of
the world worships a god that needs to be appeased, but that is not Yahweh. Jesus did not die to
appease Gods wrath toward men, but mans wrath toward God. When Adam and Eve sinned, who
went looking for whom? Neither Adams sin nor Jesus death changed Gods love for mankind. We read
in 2 Corinthians 5:
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them. (vs.
19)
God did not need to be appeased or reconciled, man did. Our wrath is appeased when we see Jesus
hanging on the cross and our heart is pierced to realize that God loved us that much.
Albert has an interest in clocks. After Mr. Trundle completes construction of the clock tower, the young
mouse tinkers around inside and breaks it (kerplunk, kerplowie). This not only derails the plans to
appease Santa, but people stop bringing their clocks to Joshua Trundle to fix and the family struggles
financially. On Christmas Eve, Albert eventually confesses this to his dad, who points out to him that its
not enough to say you are sorry you need to correct what you did. Thats biblical. Most of the Ten
Commandments were punishable by the death penalty if you worshiped another god, made an idol,
used Yahwehs name in a vain, worked on the Sabbath, dishonored your parents, murdered, committed
adultery, or bore false witness (coveting is a heart attitude, rather than an action) you died. However,
with stealing, it was a different story. We read in Exodus 22:
If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox
and four sheep for a sheep. If the theft is certainly found alive in his hand, whether it is an ox
or donkey or sheep, he shall restore double. (vv. 1, 4)
The Hebrew word translated restore comes from the same root as the word shalom, which many
people are familiar with. When a person caused another to become deficient in some way, such as
stealing their livestock, it was the responsibility of the person who created the deficiency to restore
what has been taken and then some. Therefore, shalom, which is often translated peace, is not so
much the absence of conflict, but rather a state of wholeness or completeness. Interestingly in our
story, Albert was attempting to restore the clock to wholeness, as well as the good name of Joshua
Trundle.

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#13 Frostys Winter Wonderland (1976) (R&B)

This story is narrated by Andy Griffith. He introduces the story as, You've heard the old familiar tale
how Frosty came to life. But do you know the story of how Frosty took a wife? In the tale Frosty the
Snowman, the worlds only talking snowman promised to return the following year. Frosty keeps that
promise. He had been very lonely at the North Pole and now that he was back with the children, the
daytimes were fun, but the nighttimes were still lonely, because they had to go home. His friends
suggest that he needs a wife, someone who will love you back when you love her. The children are
thinking like Yahweh. In Genesis 2, we read:
And Yahweh God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper
comparable to him. Out of the ground Yahweh God formed every beast of the field and every
bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. But for Adam
there was not found a helper comparable to him. And Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall
on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the
rib which Yahweh God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the
man. And Adam said: This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called
Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (vv. 18-23)
In the Creation account, it is interesting to note that the only time something is not good is Adam
being alone and the only time something is said to be very good (1:31) is after the Adam-Eve team are
together. Loving animals (i.e., going to petting zoos and seeing wildlife while taking a walk), I would
think it must have been fun to have all the animals and birds come to you and name them. But although
it is not recorded, I am assuming that when Adam saw Eve, he must have said something like, Wow,
now that is more like it! Thanks Father! Now he had someone he could talk to, someone who could
love him in the way that he loved her. Frostys response Gee what a great invention! is similar to what
I imagine Adams was.
A major part of the plot of this tale involves Jack Frosts jealousy of Frostys popularity with the children.
He tries to stop Frosty by blowing his hat off. That only works for a moment for Crystal says to fiance
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as she places a snow flower on him, No more Frosty? That's ridiculous. You have a wife, except for the
formalities that is, to help you now. There, everyone knows the groom should have a flower in his
buttonhole. That's just to say I love you, Frosty. With Crystals love, he doesnt need a magical hat
anymore. Yahweh had described Eve as Adams helper comparable to him. Now at night when the kids
went inside or when he had to return to the North Pole, Frosty had someone who would never leave
him. Yahweh said:
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall
become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
There is one more thing I appreciate about this story. A snow parson is needed to conduct the wedding.
After they build the body, Parson Brown says, To make him all living, a parson's not a parson till he
holds the good book in his hand. If a parson or any of us are ever going to say or write anything that is
helpful to others, it must have its basis in the Holy Scriptures. Paul wrote to Timothy:
All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine (shows us the right path), for
reproof (shows us that we got off the right path), correction (shows us how to get back on the
right path), and training in righteousness (shows us how to stay on the right path). (2 Timothy
3:16)

#14 Rudolphs Shiny New Year (1976) (R&B)

This story is narrated by Red Buttons, who gives voice to Father Time. He enlists the help of Rudolph,
the Red-Nosed Reindeer, to help find the baby New Year, named Happy. The problem was that Happy
was anything but happy because people laughed at his big ears. His nurse believed that he probably
went to the Archipelago of Last Years sort of a retirement village for old New Years. We see detailed
visits of Rudolph to 1 Million BC (where he meets a cave man), 1023 (where he meets a knight who lives
among all the fairy tales) and 1776 (where he meets Ben Franklin [appropriate as this special came out
in the year of our countrys bicentennial celebration]). Rudolph is not only up against the clock to get
Happy back in time for midnight on December 31, but in a race to keep an evil vulture named Eon the

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Terrible from capturing Happy. If he can keep the New Year from coming, his eon will go on forever and
he will not turn to snow and ice.
In photo, I have included a portion of the initial conversation that Rudolph had with Father Time. He
indicates that he wished he had a chance to share with Happy about his own struggles. Eventually he is
able to do this. They have the following one-sided conversation (Happy is a baby and doesnt really say
much):
Rudolph: Hi. My name is Rudolph. Wait a minute. Don't be afraid, I wanna be your friend. You
think you can't have any friends. Why not? Is it because of your ears? Heck, they couldn't be
that bad. You wanna see something? Look.
Happy: (Laughs at Rudolphs lit nose)
Rudolph: Go ahead, laugh right out. Doesn't bother me anymore. But when I was little, it sure
gave me one heck of a time. You mean, you never heard about me?
Father Time (as Narrator): Well, Rudolph was too modest to tell his own story, and so all the
trees on the old mountain and the snowflakes-- why, they just helped him out (i.e., they sing the
song, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer).
Rudolph: You see, I stuck it out, and when I grew older, I found that this nose was the most
wonderful thing in the whole world, because it was a different nose from everybody else's, and
it was all mine. It was really me. And heck, you know, with those ears-- why, you're going to be
the-- the happiest New Year ever. Come on, happy. Let's see those old ears of yours. Come on.
We're friends, aren't we?
Happy: (Removes hat and Rudolph Laughs)
Rudolph: Aw, now don't get upset because I laughed. I couldn't help myself. Those ears made
me feel so wonderful that all the happiness inside me just--just had to pop out. Same way with
everybody else. Those ears of yours-- why, they-- they make folks happy.
The Apostle Paul begins his second letter to the assembly in Corinth with these words:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all
comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in
any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians
1:3, 4)
Because God had comforted Rudolph and helped him to see his nose as a blessing, he was able to
encourage Happy that the same was true of his ears. I know that you are going to say that God is not in
the Rudolph story, but I beg to differ God is the God of all comfort (i.e., if there is any comfort or
encouragement, it ultimately comes from God). What is one of main reasons God comforts us? Paul
says, That we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble. We are to pass-on the comfort.
Notice it doesnt say that we can only comfort those who are going through the same things that we
have been through. Paul says any trouble. The comfort we have received from God can encourage
another person no matter what they are going through. This movie is a great example of this truth.
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#15 Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977) (R&B)

This story is narrated by Roger Miller, who gives voice to Spieltoe, Santas donkey. For strength of
message, this is one of the best Christmas specials. Spieltoe is an ancestor of Nestor. Who is Nestor?
Spieltoes song begins with these words:
Everyone knows about Rudolph, our fleet-footed friend from the north
Who lights Santa's way through the darkness as he drives his sleigh back and forth
There's someone else we should mention if we want the whole story told
He carried the first gift of Christmas more precious than diamonds or gold.
That gift was Jesus the Messiah, who was in the womb of the Virgin Mary. But he has a difficult life prior
to carrying out that great purpose. You see Nestor was born with extremely long ears, ears that he was
constantly tripping over. But his ears didnt just get him ridicule like Happy, the Baby New Year, his ears
almost cost him his life. His owner threw Nestor out into a snow storm to die; however, Nestors mom
broke out of the stable, found him and covered his body with her own to protect him from the snow,
cold and wind. The following morning Nestor found that this act of love left him an orphan.
In time, Nestor meets a cherub name Tilly. She tells him that he has a mission that requires his ears, a
mission that will save someone, just as his mom saved him. Nestor, who has found his ears to be a
source of nothing but misery in his life, is open to this mission he doesnt want his mothers death to
have been in vain. However, when he finds out it means going to a far distant Bethlehem, he says, I
dont want to go that far, but he is convinced when Tilly replies, He (God) wants you to, as a light
shines down from heaven up Nestor. So they take off for Israel. Tilly leaves Nestor short of Bethlehem,
presumably near Nazareth until the proper time.
Eventually a young couple, Mary and Joseph, come to the stable where Nestor has been living, in need
of a donkey. They choose Nestor. During the trip to Bethlehem, a sandstorm comes upon them. Nestor
is able to protect Mary with is ears. Also his large ears allow him to hear the voice of Tilly, his mother
and the angels as they guide him to Bethlehem through the storm. He could not have accomplished this

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mission a mission much more important than that of any donkey that had made fun of him without
those ears.
Nestor was saved from the snowstorm by his mothers love. Nestor was saved unto the purpose of
getting Mary, Joseph and Jesus to Bethlehem. Regarding salvation, both truths are important we are
saved from and saved unto. What are we saved from? Well, the answer to that comes in the
Christmas story itself. When the angel explained Marys pregnancy to Joseph he said:
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS (Yahushua Yahweh saves),
for He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)
We are saved from our sins. But what are we saved unto. The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for
good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (2:8-10)
We are not saved by good works, but we are saved unto good works. Nestor did not save himself, but
his mother died to save him so that he could live out his God-given purpose. Likewise, we are not saved
by anything that we do for God; salvation is all about what God did for us through Jesus death.
However, God does save us unto a purpose good works that He has planned for us to walk in.
I know that the Bible doesnt say anything about a donkey that carried Mary from Nazareth to
Bethlehem, but this story really has a great message.

#16 The Small One (1978)

Until yesterday morning, I didnt even realize that we had this one on DVD I thought we only had a
VHS version for which we do not have the technology to watch. However, once I knew that I could
watch The Small One to help me write this devotional, it bumped Eloise at Christmastime off my
favorite 25 Christmas specials list. This Disney version of the donkey that carried Mary to Bethlehem
came out just one year after Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey.
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A father and his son own four donkeys on the outskirts of Nazareth; three are young and strong, but the
fourth, named Small One, is old and weak. However, Small One is the boys best friend and they love
each other. The fathers work involves collecting wood and at the end of one work day, he and his son
have the following conversation:
Father: Son, are you aware that Small One eats as much as the other donkeys? He can no
longer carry a big enough load to pay for his food. We can't afford to keep him any longer.
Boy: No, Father! You don't mean that!
Father: I'm sorry, Son. But tomorrow I must take him to the market and sell him. He'll bring a
piece of silver.
Boy: Please, can I take him?
Father: Very well. You can leave in the morning and be back by nightfall. But understand, Small
One must be sold.
The next morning, the boy takes Small One to the market in Nazareth. Unfortunately, nobody wants an
old weak donkey but the tanner, who wants to make leather out of his hide. At the horse auction, the
auctioneer tells the boy he doesnt have time to waste on a scrawny donkey. To which the boy replies,
He's not scrawny! He's a strong donkey. He's gentle and kind. And good enough to be in a king's
stable! Just when it seems unlikely that he can find someone to take his place in Small Ones life, a kind
man comes up to the boy and asks if Small One is for sale. It is Joseph and he needs a donkey to carry his
pregnant wife, Mary, to Bethlehem. Small One, who couldnt earn his keep, now carries the most
precious cargo and ends up in the stable of the King of kings, Jesus the Messiah.
Increasing age does not have to mean decreasing usefulness. Jesus said that if we abide in Him, we will
bear much fruit and the Father will be glorified (John 15:5, 8). This is reminiscent of the prophecy of
Isaiah regarding the Messiah that He would:
Comfort all who mourn to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the
garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the
planting of Yahweh, that He may be glorified (61:2, 3).
As we grow older, we are often beset with more reasons to be mourning or feeling oppressed by a spirit
of heaviness: death of a spouse, decreasing health, being overwhelmed by new technology, isolation
from a family that has grown up and gone their own way. But in the midst of those difficulties, Yahweh
promises that we can continue to bear fruit. We can continue to be filled with sap (Ps 104:16). Our
ministry will change (I probably will not be working in Gods Backyard when I am 80 years old), but God
can still use us.
In Psalm 92, we read:
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who
are planted in the courts of Yahweh shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear
fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing. (vv. 12-14)

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The fruit includes, declaring that Yahweh is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in
Him (vs. 15). In the midst of the difficulties associated with old age, it could be very easy to complain
about all that is wrong. But the righteous can declare that God is good and show their world that Gods
greatness is not tied to their circumstances but rather their relationship with Him. To show their
children, their grandchildren, their great grandchildren, their neighbors, their friends, their doctors and
whoever else they have contact with, that even though life is not what it was when they were young,
God has not changed and He continues to fill their lives with the oil of joy.
Whether you are there now or are moving towards that season of life, purpose in your heart to continue
to give God the glory, even in the face of mounting difficulties associated with old age. Like Small One,
what we are able to do may change with time, but until He takes us home, God will always have
something for us to do.

#17 Rudolph & Frosty: Christmas in July (1979) (R&B)

In this special, we learn about an evil wizard named Winterbolt, who ruled over the North Pole long
before Santa and his clan came to settle there. He is punished by the Queen of the Northern Lights,
Lady Boreal, when she puts him in a deep sleep. Years later, Winterbolt awakens and in her final act of
magic, Boreal transfers the last of her power into Rudolph's red nose when he is born, which will stop
glowing if it is ever used for evil. Winterbolt learns of this one obstacle to reclaim his territory from
Santa Claus and develops an intricate plan to extinguish Rudolphs nose. This plan includes giving Frosty
and his family (Crystal [wife], Milly [daughter] & Chilly [son]) amulets to prevent them from melting as
they travel south with Rudolph to help out the circus of Lilly Loraine around the time of Independence
Day. However, the amulets magic will only last until the final firework explodes on July 4th. Santa & Mr.
Claus promise to fly down and pick up the Frosties and return them to the North Pole in plenty of time.
Winterbolt, with the help of a worthless reindeer named Scratcher, are able trick Rudolph into using his
nose unknowingly for an evil purpose and his red-nose goes out. He also causes a snowstorm that
delays the arrival of the Claus. With the final firework approaching, Winterbolt makes a deal with

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Rudolph as long as he does not clear his name, the Frosties will not melt. And so the following
conversation occurs:
Rudolph: Loraine, I stole that money.
Milly/Chilly: Uncle Rudolph?
Frosty: No, he I mean, I can explain.
Rudolph: No, Frosty, don't! I stole the money, ma'am, and I gave it to Sam Spangles.
Lilly: Spangles? That means he takes over the show. Rudolph, what got into you?
Rudolph: I can't explain.
Crystal: I'm sorry, Rudolph, but I don't want the twins associating with a dishonest reindeer.
Milly/Chilly: Aw, Uncle Rudolph. Why'd you do it?
Frosty: No, wait. You don't understand.
Rudolph: Frosty, you must never tell them that i didn't do it.
Lady Boreal had invested in Rudolph the ability to defeat Winterbolt. In the end, Rudolph is able to do
this because he was not concerned about his own name, but in saving his friends, even if it meant those
very friends thinking evil thoughts about him. In a sense, Rudolph saved his friends by dying for them.
The Apostle John and the author of Hebrews write:
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the
devil. (1 John 3:8)
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He (Jesus) Himself likewise
shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death,
that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to
bondage. (2:14, 15)
Through His death, Jesus defeated Satan. In a similar fashion, Rudolph defeated Winterbolt. Don
Francisco has a song that includes these words:
Jesus was born to die for you, Jesus was born to die for you.
Left His glory, left his throne, to buy you back and to bring you home,
Jesus, He was born to die for you.
Jesus was crucified for you, Jesus was crucified for you.
Took your sin, took your shame, died your death to clear your name,
Jesus, He was crucified for you.
The truth that Jesus was born to die is a truth that is often forgotten at Christmas. As the song indicates,
Jesus died to clear name, not thinking of His own. On a much smaller scale, Rudolph was willing to do
the same.

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#18 Leprechauns Christmas Gold (1981) (R&B)

We have reached the end of the R&B era of Christmas specials. This must be a fairly obscure tale, since
it does not even have a Wikipedia article. The story is narrated by Art Carney, who gives voice to Blarney
Kilakilarney, keeper of the leprechauns gold on the uncharted island of Tralee off the southern coast of
Ireland.
The story begins when a ship passes by the island. The ships captain asks his cabin boy, Dinty Doyle, to
row ashore and get them a Christmas tree. Unwittingly, Dinty releases a banshee named Mag the Hag,
who had been imprisoned beneath the tree by Saint Patrick, lord of the leprechauns. Banshees need
someone to give them gold (i.e., they cannot steal it) before Christmas to keep themselves from turning
into tears.
About a century before, Mag had disguised herself as guardian angel to Faye Kilakilarney, Blarneys wife,
and said to her:
Listen to my words. Gold is the source of all the world's troubles and can bring no one good.
All those who mine it will soon be caught in its evil spell. If you truly love your husband, then
make him give his gold away. Do this and I promise you all will live happily ever after.
Faye was convinced that this was her guardian angel Blarney realized it was the banshee. The
message of the so-called guardian angel (i.e., gold is the source of all the worlds troubles) was a
twisting of Scripture which states, The love of money [literally, silver] is the root of all evil (1 Timothy
6:10), not money or gold itself. A true angel would not give a message, which disagreed with Gods
previous revelation; Faye needed to study her Bible; she needed to be a Berean leprechaun (Acts 17:11).
As a result of their argument, a century went by of not living together or even talking. Faye was
deceived AND it was important that that Mag not get any gold. So what was Blarney supposed to do?
How could he love his wife, as well as, remain faithful to his God-given task. Paul wrote to Timothy in
this second epistle:

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And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in
humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so
that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of
the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (2:24-26)
Faye had been ensnared by Mag the Hag, taken captive to do her will. Even though she thought what
she was doing was for the love of her husband, she was wrong. However, Blarney was not showing
patience or gentleness, by calling his wife daft and storming out of the house because she couldnt see
immediately that the angel was Mag the Hag. As we mentioned, he needed to gently show her that
the angels message was not scripturally sound, while praying that God would grant her repentance.
Thankfully, their marriage is restored their restored love is instrumental in bringing Dinty out of spell
that had been placed on him by Mag, as he himself had been deceived by her. We all get deceived from
time to time, it is important that we dont write each other off, but gently, patiently and humbly instruct
until God removes the deception.

#19 Home Alone (1990)

Previously we mentioned that both Charlie Browns Christmas and Davey & Goliaths Christmas Lost and
Found were a half century old this year. Well this movie, Home Alone, is a quarter century old this year.
The McCallister clan consists of three brothers and their families:
1. Peter, who is married to Kate, lives in Illinois and is father of Buzz, Megan, Linnie, Jeff & Kevin;
2. Frank who is married to Leslie, lives in Ohio and is father of Tracy, Brooke, Sondra, Rod & Fuller;
and,
3. Rob who is married to Georgette, lives in France and is father of Heather, Liz, Mickey and Josh.
The Peter McCallisters & Frank McCallisters, along with Heather (who was visiting in the US) are taking a
Christmas trip to see the Rob McCallisters. The story focuses on 8-year old Kevin McCallister, who lives
in a family of jerks, with the exception of his parents (who seem to be oblivious to what a jerk their
oldest son Buzz is) and possibly his Aunt Leslie. But his brothers, sisters, cousins (including Heather, the
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only part of the Rob McCallisters that we are unfortunate to meet) and, especially his Uncle Frank, are a
bunch of losers they treat him miserably. He does not handle it well, but we need to remember he is
only 8 years old.
I am sure that you know the story of how Kevin is left behind and how he protects his house from the
Wet Bandits. But I think one of the best parts in the movie is the conversation that Kevin has with his
neighbor Old Man Marley (whom Buzz claims is the South Bend Shovel Slayer who murdered his entire
family in 1958, but was never convicted) in the church, prior to his battle with Harry and Marv.
Old Man Marley (OMM): May I sit down? That's my granddaughter (motioning to one of the
girls in the choir) - the little red-haired girl. She's about your age. You live next to me, don't
you? You've been good this year?
Kevin: I've been kind of a pain lately. I said some things I shouldn't have. I really haven't been
too good this year. I'm kind of upset because I really like my family. Even though sometimes I
say I don't. Sometimes I even think I don't. Do you get that?
OMM: I think so. How you feel about family is a complicated thing. Deep down, you'll always
love them.
Kevin: But you can forget that you love them. You can hurt them, they can hurt you.
OMM: That's not just because you're young. You want to know the real reason why I'm here? I
can't come hear her tonight. I'm not welcome.
Kevin: At church? You're always welcome at church.
OMM: I'm not welcome with my son. Years back, before you and your family moved on the
block ... I had an argument with my son. We lost our tempers, and I said I didn't care to see him
anymore. He said the same, and we haven't spoken to each other since.
Kevin: If you miss him, why don't you call him?
OMM: I'm afraid if I call, he won't talk to me.
Kevin: No offense, but aren't you a little old to be afraid?
OMM: You can be old for a lot of things. You're never too old to be afraid.
Kevin: That's true. I was afraid of our basement. It's dark. There's weird stuff down there, and it
smells funny. It's bothered me for years. I made myself go down to do some laundry and I found
out it's not so bad. I worried about it, but if you turn on the lights, it's no big deal.
OMM: What's your point?
Kevin: My point is you should call your son.
OMM: What if he won't talk to me?
Kevin: At least you'll know. Then you could stop worrying about it. You won't have to be afraid
anymore. No matter how mad I was, I'd talk to Dad, especially around the holidays. Just give it a
shot, for your granddaughter anyway. I'm sure she misses you.

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Kevin was afraid of the basement, so he turned the light. Christmas is really about God doing just that
turning on the light to drive away the fear and the darkness. In the opening words of Phillips Brooks
carol O Little Town of Bethlehem, we read:
O little town of Beth-le-hem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dream-less sleep, the silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
Light met fear in Bethlehem. Through the prophet Isaiah, Yahweh says regarding the coming Messiah,
Jesus:
Listen, O coastlands, to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar! Yahweh has called Me from
the womb; from the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name. Indeed He says,
It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to
restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You
should be My salvation to the ends of the earth. (49:1, 6)
I love vs. 6. Yahweh says that simply to restore Israel is too small a job for the Messiah, He was going to
be a light to all people. We no longer need to fear, for God has turned on the light

#20 Winnie the Pooh & Christmas, Too (1991)

Two days before Christmas, Christopher Robin writes out a letter to Santa for him and his friends in the
100-Acre Wood, asking for the following presents: (1) a new fly-swatter for Rabbit to keep bugs off his
carrots, (2) an umbrella for Eeyore to keep snow off his house, (3) a snow shoe for Tigger so he can
bounce in the snow, (4) anything Santa wants to bring for Piglet, and (5) sled for himself.
He sends the letter off into the wind, but the next day (Christmas Eve), Winnie the Pooh realizes, after
Piglet informs him, that he did not ask for anything himself, so they go find the letter, which has not
gotten very far. Afterwards, they, along with Tigger and Eeyore, go to Rabbit's house and rewrite the
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letter. The following conversation occurs (note: Piglet is the scribe and his words are simply his talking
out loud as he writes presents on the letter):
Pooh: Now, let me see. I believe what I wanted was a -- no. I should really like to have a -- or
perhaps a -Rabbit: Oh, just give him a pot of honey!
Pooh: Why, thank you, Rabbit!
Piglet (speaking as he adds gifts to the list): One...pot...of...honey.
Rabbit: You're welcome, Pooh. Oh, since he's been so good this year, why don't you make it
two pots of honey?
Piglet: Two pots of...
Pooh: Oh, Rabbit! You are indeed most generous! Is there something I could ask of Santa for
you?
Rabbit: Oh, why, Pooh, how nice. Actually -Pooh: Two fly swatters for Rabbit!
Piglet: Two fly swatters.
Rabbit: Oh, thank you, but I really have everything I -- well... there is one thing. A sprayer that'll
take care of those pesky bugs forever! Been wanting one for years, but I've been afraid to ask.
Pooh: Then I shall ask for you! Piglet, could we have one of... whatever those are for our dear
friend Rabbit?
Tigger: Say, can I ask for somethin' for somebody? Can I? Can I? Eeyore wants an umbrella for
his house, but what he really needs is a -- a new house! Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! No, two
houses! Oh, split the difference -- make it a whole "condominimum"!
Eeyore: Well, thanks.
Pooh: And four snowshoes for Tigger, so he can bounce six times higher!
Tigger: Say, I like this guy's mathematicals.
Rabbit: No, spring-powered snowshoes, so he can bounce half way to the moon!
Tigger: Thanks, Rabbit! And 10 pots o' honey for Pooh!
Eeyore: 11.
Tigger: It's the season of giving! Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! This is gonna be the bestest Christmas
of all!
Season of giving??? Tiggers got it wrong they havent done any giving at all. They have simply
increased the list of things they want to get from Santa. This kind of giving doesnt cost anything. I think
of the episode recorded in 2 Samuel 24. Israel had disobeyed Yahweh, who used Satan (1 Chronicles
21:1) to move David to number Israels military, against Yahwehs command. This resulted in a plague
that was to be stopped by David by building an altar to Yahweh on the threshing floor of Araunah the
Jebusite. This man was simply going to give David everything that he needed for the required offering.
However, we read:
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No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to Yahweh my
God with that which costs me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for
fifty shekels of silver. (vs. 24)
True giving costs. God the Father loved the world and it cost Him His Son. Jesus the loved the world and
it cost Him His life. Christmas is the Season of Giving God giving us an extremely costly gift
Himself. Have you received that gift? Without Jesus you will never have the bestest Christmas of all.

#21 Home Alone 2 (1992)

Kevin McCallister still lives amongst a family of jerks. This year for Christmas, the Peter McCallisters
(Kevins part of the clan) and the Frank McCallisters are going to Florida. By accident, Kevin ends up in
New York City with his fathers money and credit card. He stays at the Plaza Hotel, even getting
directions from Donald Trump himself. He also comes in contact with the Wet Bandits, Harry and Marv,
who have recently escaped from prison. Again Kevin does battle with them, as they try to steal the
money from Duncans Toy Chest, which is slated to go to Saint Annes Hospital for Children. In similar
fashion to Home Alone, where Kevin befriends someone on the fringe of society (Old Man Marley), he
shows love to a homeless Pigeon Lady, who lives in Central Park.
The Bible has its own Home Alone episode involving Jesus. In Luke 2, we read:
His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was
twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they
had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph
and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a
days journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not
find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they
found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking
them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So
when they saw Him, they were amazed:

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Mary: Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You
anxiously.
Jesus: Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Fathers
business?
But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Then He went down with
them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in
her heart. (vv. 41-50)
Down in Florida, the McCallisters have no idea where Kevin is until the credit card company informs the
police that he is in NYC. So the clan leaves Florida for the Big Apple. As he has run away from the Plaza
Hotel, they have no idea where he is in the city. That is until his mother remembers his love for
Christmas trees and she finds him at Rockefeller Center.
Jesus wonders why his parents didnt come straight to the temple to look for Him, since He had to be
about His Fathers business. In a way, Kevin was about Gods business too helping out the Childrens
Hospital, befriending the friendless, and assisting in the capture of thieves. A question we should all ask
ourselves this time of year especially, Am I about my Fathers business? As I ask that question, I
cannot help but think of Robert Marleys ghosts words to Ebenezer Scrooge:
Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy,
forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop
of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!
We often get so wrapped up in our work that we forget that it may very well be just a drop of water in
the ocean of our Fathers business.

#22 How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

You would think that after sharing 100 posts about Dr. Seuss books on Facebook that I would be partial
to the 1966 cartoon version, which stuck to Dr. Seuss original text. However, I love the development of
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the character of Cindy Lou Who, as well as, the humor (though sometimes unnecessarily crude) of Jim
Carrey as the Grinch in the 2000 movie version.
The movie begins with Lou Lou Who and his daughter Cindy Lou Who shopping at Farfingle's
Department Store. For a second, Lou thinks he has lost Cindy, but then realizes she is behind of large
pile of presents that she is carrying for him. He pulls away the large package in the middle to see her
face and Cindy says, Doesn't this seem like a bit much? To which Lou replies, This is what Christmas
is all about! As they are walking to the post office where her dad works, this conversation continues:
Lou: Boy, nothing beats Christmas, right?
Cindy: I guess.
Lou: You guess?
Cindy: It's just, I look around at you and Mom and everyone getting all kerbobbled. Doesn't this
seem superfluous?
While in the back room near the sorting machine, Cindy Lou meets the Grinch and being startled falls
into the machine. She cries for help. Initially the Grinch was going to let her go, but Max (his dog)
would not let him and he saves Cindy Lou. The narrator says:
Sweet little Cindy didn't know what to do.
In her head, bum-tumbled a conflict or two.
If the Grinch was so bad, then why did he save me?
Maybe he wasn't so bad. Maybe. Just maybe.
Cindy Lou will take the time to get to know the Grinchs story and to know the Grinch himself. She will
reach out to him as a friend. Eventually it will be her love that restores the Grinch to be part of Whoville
society. That night as she gets ready for bed, Cindy Lou sings:
Where are you Christmas? Why cant I find you?
Why have you gone away?
My world is changing, Im rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too?
I think that it is amazing that in my favorite 25 Christmas specials, the name of Jesus is only mentioned
one time (i.e., by Sally in Davey & Goliaths Christmas Lost & Found). We could change Cindy Lous song
as follows:
Where are You Jesus? Why cant I find You?
Isnt this Your birthday?
The gift exchanging, we are shortchanging
The Lord who died for me and you.
Jesus hasnt gone anywhere. Its up to us to include Him or leave Him out of our celebration of
Christmas. I think of the words from a song my daughter and I used to sing every night when she was
young, Come on ring those bells, light the Christmas tree, Jesus is the King, born for you and me. Come
on ring those bells, everybody say, Jesus we remember its Your birthday.
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#23 Polar Express (2004)

This movie stars Tom Hanks in six different roles. The main character, Hero-Boy, has reached a point in
his life where he is questioning the existence of Santa. On Christmas Eve, this boy finds himself on a
train called the Polar Express heading for the North Pole. Near the end of the Polar Express, Hero-Boy,
is handpicked by Santa to receive the first gift of Christmas. Given the chance to ask for anything in the
world, the boy asks for one bell from one of the reindeer's harnesses and places it in the pocket of his
robe. Later, on the train ride home, the boy discovers that the bell has fallen through a hole in his
pocket. The boy arrives home and goes to his bedroom as the train pulls away.
On Christmas morning, his sister finds a small package for the boy under the tree, behind all of the other
gifts. The boy opens the box and discovers that it is the bell, delivered by Santa who found it on the seat
of his sleigh. When the boy rings the bell, both he and his sister can hear its beautiful sound. His parents,
however, are unable to hear the bell and remark that it must be broken. The film ends:
At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of
them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though
I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.
This closing phrase made me think of Pauls words to the Thessalonians:
Be thankful, whatever the circumstances may be. For this is the will of God for you in Messiah
Jesus (5:18 [Philips]).
What do these two things have to do with each other? The movie is about Christmas and the quote is
about Thanksgiving. I think you can really only be thankful in all circumstances, when you can see all
things (not just supposedly good things) as coming from the hand of your heavenly Father. Until a
person comes to faith in God through Messiah Jesus, they dont see a reason to be thankful
thanksgiving is just a day for parades, football and turkey. However, some who have come to faith, can
only see God at work in the good things. But we are told that God is the One who works all things
according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11). Everything, whether it appears good or bad to us,
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is being used by God to bring us to the knowledge of Himself and to conform us to the image of Jesus
(Romans 8:28, 29).
I read an interesting story once:
There was a king in Africa who had a close friend that he grew up with. The friend had a habit
of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking,
This is good! One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend
would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong
in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his
thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, This is good! To
which the king replied, No, this is NOT good! and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an unsafe area. Cannibals captured him and took
them to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to
the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a
thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the
king, they sent him on his way. As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had
taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail
to speak with his friend. You were right he said, it was good that my thumb was blown off.
And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. And so I am very sorry for
sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this. No, his friend replied, this is good!
What do you mean, this is good! How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year? If
I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you!"
When we learn to view all things as coming from the hand of God, then will we truly know Him and be
thankful. Thanksgiving begins with recognition that Yahweh is a Benevolent Sovereign. I pray that I will
always be able to see God in all things that instead of asking Why God is this happening to me?, I will
instead say Thank you, Father for what you are doing in my life. I dont want to be like Hero-Boys
parents, friends or sister who could no longer hear the bell I want to be one who always hears it, a
true believer. Can you hear the bell?

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#24 Veggie Tales: Its a Meaningful Life (2010)

I love the movie "It's a Wonderful Life". But Veggie Tales movie "It's a Meaningful Life" is fantastic. Larry
the Cucumber stars as Stewart Green (i.e., remember George Bailey was played by Jimmy Stewart) and
Petunia Rhubarb plays his wife Donna (i.e., remember Mary Hatch Bailey was played by Donna Reed).
The movie begins with Stewart as a football star on the local Rockwell University team. Its the last play
of the game and he has hopes that it will be his ticket out of town and the beginning of a pro football
career. A less talented player on the team, Morty Bumble, is supposed to be the decoy in the play, but
his head isnt really in the game. Stewart makes a great catch, but he lands on Morty, who is not where
he is supposed to be, fumbles the ball and lands hard on the ground. The ball providentially lands on
Mortys head and he is the hero. The Bumble Bee heads for the Twin City Bears, while the Green
Machine lies in the hospital, his dreams shattered. His girlfriend Donna tries to console him (football
isnt the only meaningful thing in your future). His father comes into his hospital room and they have
the following conversation:
Pa Green: Stewart, when I was your age I wanted all the same things you do now - except I was
allergic to grass and hated football. Then I learned that God had a plan for my life. That no
matter how bad things got, God was always making sure things turned out right.
Stewart: But, all my life, I've been dreaming of doing bigger, more important things - being a
Twin City Bear, making a difference.
Pa Green: Stewart, the doctor is concerned about your injury. He, uh - well, he doesn't think
you'll play football again. I thought maybe you would, uh- well, help me build them.
Stewart: Work for the toy train factory?
Pa Green: Someone's got to keep the business alive. I know it's not your dream - but it has its
rewards and creates jobs for a lot of people.
Stewart: I'm never getting out of this town.
We fast forward 15 years into the future. Stewart is still in Rockwell. He married Donna and they had
two sons Arch and Barney and have adopted an orphan named Emma. In addition, Stewart has been a
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positive male role model in the lives of some of his sons friends lives, coaching their football team. He
is also in charge of the toy train factory, which is the primary employer in town, but is not doing well
financially (needing to build and sell 10,000 trains in the next 2 months leading up to Christmas). On top
of this, Morty Bumble is returning to Rockwell for Christmas. He contacts Stewart, indicating that he
wants to buy the factory; however, planning on turning it into the visitor center for Mortyville (renamed
Rockwell) and laying off all the workers. Come Christmas Eve and one shift left, they are still 3,000 trains
short of what it will take to keep the factory open. If you do the math (7000 trains/59 days/3 shifts),
they have been averaging 40 trains a shift. It seems hopeless. Stewart heads to the empty football
stadium and prays, God, how did I end up like this? I was going to do something - something special.
But, instead, I've ruined everything. Why couldn't I have caught that football?
All of a sudden a train appears The What If Express. The conductor, Gabe, gives Stewart the
opportunity to see what his life and everyone elses lives would have been like had he made the catch.
Stewart became famous and rich, but a very unlikable person. Donna never married. Arch and Barney
were never born. Emma lived her life in an orphanage. The boys on the football team became a gang.
Finally, they have the following conversation:
Gabe: Stewart do you believe God loves you?
Stewart: Yes! Of course I do.
Gabe: Then why don't you also believe He has directed every step you've ever taken?
Gabe (singing): Precious child, Stewart Green, you're worth much more than it may seem. God
has made more of your life than your unreached dreams. Precious one, so special too, when
you doubt God's plan for you, just take a look around you at all the joy you bring. The way you
live, the love you give to those around you. The lives you touch, it's worth so much and thats
just how God made you.
Stewart: I know what my choice is. I can choose to stay in this world of what if. Or I can choose
to go back to Rockwell and face my problems knowing that God has a plan for me.
Gabe: Even when you don't see it. And that plan for you is better than anything you could come
up with on your own.
At the end of the movie, my favorite singer Steven Curtis Chapman sings the song "Meant to Be", a
portion of which I have reproduced in the picture.
If you have ever wished that you were someone else or that your life had turned out differently than it
has, I would encourage you to watch the movie & listen to the song. God doesn't make mistakes - live
the life He has given you to live. Be content with the gifts, abilities, opportunities and even limitations
that He designed when He created you.

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#25 Arthur Christmas (2011)

This story involves three generations of Claus: (1) Grand-Santa, who has been retired for seventy years;
(2) Malcolm Claus, the current Santa Claus, but has become primarily an executive figurehead; (3)
Steve Claus, older son of Malcolm, who developed the ultra-high tech spacecraft S-1, used in present
delivery, runs mission control with thousands of elves and is the heir-apparent to becoming the next
Santa ; and, (4) Arthur Claus, younger and clumsy son of Malcolm, who works answering all the letters
written to his father. As example, at the beginning of the movie, Arthur is answering a letter from Gwen
Hines who lives at 23 Mimosa Avenue, Trelew, Cornwall, England. He writes:
Dear Gwen, Thank you for your letter and brilliant picture. Your request for a pink twinkle-bike
will be passed on to Santa. And, yes, we do believe in Santa. He is real. He's the greatest man
ever, and he can get around the world to every child without a single reindeer being roasted
alive, or hurt. By the time the sun comes up on Christmas day, he'll get to you, too, using his
special magic.
At the end of what appears to be a successful Christmas mission, it is discovered that a single present
was not delivered you guessed it, Gwen Hines pink twinkle-bike. Malcolm is at a loss as to how to
handle the situation and Steve argues that one missed present out of billions is an acceptable error.
Grand-Santa on the other hand proposes delivering the gift using Evie, his old wooden sleigh, and the
great-great-grandchildren of the original eight reindeer. As he and Arthur get lost on three continents,
Arthur learns that Grand-Santa's true motive was to show Steve and Malcolm that he could still deliver a
present the old way, that Steve refuses to help them out because he wont get the credit, and that his
own father has gone to bed not one of the three elder Clauses really cares about Gwen. Arthur says to
his grandfather, How can I ever write another letter saying that Santa cares?
Eventually, all four Claus end up at Gwens house, only to quarrel about who gets to actually place the
gift, that is except for Arthur; however, noticing that only Arthur truly cares about Gwen's feelings, the
elder Clauses realize that he should be the next Santa Claus.
In his essay Disenchantment, Charles Edward Montague wrote:
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There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit
for it.
Maybe a fuller way of stating this truth would be, there is no limit to what a man can do as long as he
cares that God gets the credit. We see this in Arthur Christmas Arthur doesnt care that Gwen
knows that he brought the gift, only that she continues to believe that Santa is the greatest man and
that he loves her. I often get discouraged that very few people read my Facebook posts. But I wouldnt
be as long as my only concern was that whomever God leads to read my posts is helped in seeing that
God is the greatest and that He loves them.
Merry Christmas! If you have read any of these posts, I hope you have gotten to know God a little bit
better and how much He loves you.

Conclusion

This isnt really a Christmas movie, but it does have Santa Claus I think that it forms a fitting conclusion
to this series. A couple of years ago during an outside service, the kids from Gods Backyard helped lead
the congregation in singing. They did a great job. One of our younger girls sang Jesus Loves Me as a
solo without any fear and did so beautifully. Another young lady, who has sung several solos now, sang
this song by Ron Hamilton:
I thank You, Lord, for all You've done, I don't deserve Your love;
When I was lost You saw my need, and left Your home above.
I love You, Lord, I love You, Lord, because of Calvary;
I love You, Lord, I love You, Lord, You're everything to me.
You proved Your love on Calvary, You bore my sin and shame;
I'll live for You through all my days, I'll praise Your holy name!
Christmas is the time when Jesus left His home above because He saw our need. Its a beautiful song.
But what really touched my heart that morning was what she said during prayer time. I have reproduced

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her simple but profound prayer in the photo, God, because of your love, my life has meaning. Most
humans on the planet do not know this truth, but this ten year old did.
What does any of this have to do with DreamWorks movie Rise of the Guardians? My daughter Leah
left the movie on my desk the night before with a note that I would probably like it. It is the story of how
Jack Frost joins Santa Claus (Guardian of Wonder), the Easter Bunny (Guardian of Hope), the Tooth Fairy
(Guardian of Memories), and Sandman (Guardian of Dreams). When a battle with the Boogeyman arises,
the Man in the Moon calls Jack Frost to join the four guardians. When he first arrives at the North Pole,
Santa asks him the question, Whats your center? Jack does not understand his question. Each of us
has a God-planted center or purpose inside of us. Our center isnt a job or our daily responsibilities.
Rather our center is the real reason why we are here, why we exist. Jack discovers that he is the
Guardian of Fun.
If I had to describe Gods meaning for my life or my God-planted center, I would say it has to do with
helping children know Jesus and how special they are to God. I hope in my writings I also help adults
know Jesus and His love, but I feel a special calling toward children.
For Jack Frost knowing what his center was made all the difference in his existence. My prayer for you is
that you find Jesus this Christmas season and discover His center for your life its the difference
between a meaningful life and just existing.

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