At the beginning of the Christmas season, I went housesitting for a week, then dogsitting for the next. Since I had the house to myself, and it was Christmas after all, I spent the evenings watching Christmas movies. I tried out a few I hadn’t watched before, with one of those being Disney’s Godmothered.
If you haven’t seen or heard of Godmothered, imagine Elf but with a Fairy Godmother instead. Was it terribly original? No. But it was sweet and funny enough that I was engaged.
The movie drew to a close, the sort where because this is not a terribly original movie, the titular Fairy Godmother would rather obviously declare the moral before the crowd. Throughout the entire movie, she’d been trying to help her assigned child (who now was a grown woman) to find her true love and live happily ever after.
Essentially, she boils it down to, “I’ve been so busy trying to force her to live happily ever after, that I forgot about living happy. Who am I to say what true love looks like? Maybe instead of telling others what true love looks like, we should let them show us.”
It was sweet enough, I suppose. But it left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth even after the movie had ended. It confused me. I had enjoyed the movie, so what was the hold up? Was I just being overly uptight?
Christmas movies can be like that.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve watched some very wholesome Christmas movies. Of course, there are classics that have been around for a while. And there are family favorites that I have back at my house. But I’ve also tried out some newer titles that turned out to be equally good.
In fact, many of the Christmas movies that I love the most never mention Christ in any way. But even if they’re fanciful stories about Santa Claus or reindeer or elves, they still manage to point back to Him. (I’ve written about some of them, which you can check out in the Christmas category on the right.)
But every so often, one comes along that as much as you enjoy watching it, there’s just something missing in all the sweet. They say that the season is full of love and joy, but there’s no center there. Where is all the joy and love coming from? Are we simply expected to manufacture it? If I’m not happy at Christmas, am I simply not trying hard enough? What if the person who’s supposed to love me doesn’t?
The notion presented in those sticky sweet films isn’t entirely wrong. True love does manifest itself in a lot of different ways through family and friends. And it is good to be selfless and set aside our own desires in order to see someone else’s point of view. But rather than feeling empowering, the idea that we make the rules of what true love looks like just seemed . . . sad.
The longer I thought about, the more I realized that if I depend on someone else to show me what true love looks like, then I will forever be depending on other people to feel loved. Like it or not, I have to find true love for myself.
Luckily, I have found it. And I found it in Christmas.
Christmas is a season of love for a reason. Because on Christmas we celebrate when the Son of God, Who lived a life we can never imagine, left all of it in order to come save us. To endure a life in this dirty world and die in the most excruciating of ways. And not to leave us alone afterward, but to stay with us, loving us.
My love for others or others' love for me doesn’t keep my feet on the ground. God’s love for me does. And once I’ve got that, then I can show others true love, and allow myself to be shown love back. And it will be a non-fickle kind of love. It’ll be a love that lasts through the hard and the crazy and the sad. It’ll be a love that elevates the happy and the sweet and the good. It affects my writing, it affects my work, it affects my home. It affects every aspect of my life.
I think the difference between the stories is where its love and joy comes from. In movies like Godmothered, it comes from within us, and we’re responsible for keeping it going.
But in the movies and stories that have truly endured, even if they can’t quite name it, it comes from somewhere outside themselves, something bigger than themselves.
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!