Tis the season for all things merry, bright, and Hallmark Christmas movies. I can't help it, but about this time every year, I find myself glued to the TV screen watching these cheesy movies.
Within minutes I can gauge what the characters are like, who will fall in love with whom, and even predict the ending which of course always ends in "happily ever after." Then the credits roll and I find myself feeling a little unfulfilled.
Despite the disappointment, I turn on another movie. There's a reason the emptiness invades. As I watch these movies, thoughts scroll through my head and lead me to see my life through the lens of comparison. My life, I think wistfully, isn't like these movies surrounded by beautiful characters, beautifully decorated homes, and how they celebrate the holidays with fancy parties while the two main characters have a Jack and Rose moment of falling madly in love with each other.
But there's something missing in all of these movies. While these movies often try to capture the joy of the season while attempting to provide comfort, peace, and hope, it doesn't last because the story ends without the true meaning of hope, comfort, joy, and peace.
These movies fail to offer a hope that lasts. A hope that doesn't disappoint. A hope that endures because real life is filled with hurt, pain, and sadness. The only hope that lasts long after the tinsel fades and the credits role is found in Jesus Christ–the true meaning of Christmas. While there is nothing wrong with watching Hallmark Christmas movies, here are six ways to inject Christmas balance in your holiday viewing.
6 Ways to Inject Christian Balance in Your Holiday Viewing
Make Chrismons While You Watch Hallmark Christmas Movies
Chrismons or “Christ monograms” are Christian faith symbols which are used for Christmas decorations and tree ornaments. These patterns can be used in a variety of ways to be traced and decorated by children. Use Chrismon decorations to tell about the entire life of Christ too. Christmas is a time that usually emphasizes the birth of Jesus, but decorations can also celebrate the remainder of His life on earth and they're a great activity to do to help remind you of the real reason for the season while watching a movie.
Read The Christmas Story In Luke
Set aside a special time to read the Christmas story in Luke 1:5-56 through 2:1-20. Consider reading this account with your family and discussing it together. There is also the Christmas Bible Reading Plan at Bible Study Tools. It is designed for personal or family reading times, with 25 New Testament readings that highlight the birth of Jesus and the purpose for His coming. Related Old Testament passages are also featured daily and it takes about 25 days to complete.
Surprise Someone with An Act of Kindness this Christmas
Are you grabbing takeout or having a pizza delivered to enjoy while you watch? Show someone what true Christ's love looks like. Being the hands and feet of Jesus doesn't have to be complicated or involved. Surprise the delivery person or cashier with a $50 tip when you get your food.
Employees in the restaurant and service industries have been impacted greatly by the pandemic and would truly be blessed by your act of kindness.
There are so many ways to show Christian love during a season when being in need is the greatest.
Watch a Movie That Remembers the Life Of Christ
Add Christian films into your viewing playlist. Watch films that are about our mighty savior! There are several good films that focus on the birth, death, and life of Christ. We recommend The Star of Bethlehem, The Nativity Story, or The Son of God. Other films that are modern stories based on the true meaning of Christmas are a great family tradition too. Some great ones includes:
Write a Christmas Letter to a Missionary or Serviceman
Write a letter to a missionary or man/woman in the military each time you see a scene with carolers in period costumes appear at the door in the Hallmark Christmas movie you're watching. Many missionaries and our military heroes are unable to travel home for the holidays. So Christmas can be a very lonely time for them. Write a special letter to a missionary from your church and thank them for giving their life in service to the Lord. Trust me-it will mean more than you can imagine.
Decorate While Watching Hallmark Christmas Movies
To help remind you to stay Christ-centered, consider decorating the tree or setting up the nativity scene while you watch a movie. Displaying a traditional Nativity scene in your home provides a beautiful reminder of the meaning behind the season. Arranging a manger scene allows you to explore the story of Christmas each year. As you arrange your Nativity, take some time to reflect upon the biblical Scriptures that describe this wondrous event.
This year, whether you find yourself glued to the Hallmark channel or not, let your longings lead you to the One who was made to fill them. Ultimately, Jesus offers us the answer to why we long for "happily ever after." Because we were ultimately made for this kind of ending in Him. And the thing I can promise is this: the ending to the love story offered in Christ will never disappoint.
And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11
LISTEN: Granny’s Christmas Tree Ornaments Had the Whole Internet Cracking Up
Featured Image Credit: Getty Images