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My Take

Perfect Christmas

Mark McGee
Posted 11/26/22

Pardon me while I put my Scrooge hat on for a few paragraphs.  

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. No. Wait. It is beginning to look a lot like a perfect Christmas. …

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My Take

Perfect Christmas


Pardon me while I put my Scrooge hat on for a few paragraphs.  

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. No. Wait. It is beginning to look a lot like a perfect Christmas.

You may not believe in Santa Claus, but the Hallmark and Lifetime channels want you to believe in a perfect Christmas.  

As my preacher said a couple of weeks ago it is the same Christmas story told 200 different ways.  

There is always snow. A brilliant white snow just deep enough for sledding and building snowmen. No five-foot blizzards like the people of western New York are experiencing.  

All the towns are small. Each storefront looks like it was just built the day before. Holiday decorations fill the streets. Everything sparkles.  

The houses are equally as perfect. Trees of the ideal shape and height are decorated immaculately.  

Presents look like they have been professionally wrapped because, well, they were. The gifts inside are exactly what the person wanted.  

And let’s not forget the people. Everyone wears their holiday finest. Everyone is happy. Old romances are renewed. Families reconcile their problems and celebrate with hot chocolate and eggnog.  

In my mind, watching these movies can be just as damaging psychologically as social media. There is no perfect Christmas.  

As Clark Griswold finds out in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” trying to find perfection during the holidays only leads to futility and frustration.  

It’s like those Christmas letters that were once the rage. Everything a family did was couched in the most perfect way. To read them made you feel like your year was a total failure. Thank goodness only a few diehards still feel the need to send them out.  

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all about happy endings in Christmas movies.  

George Bailey avoids jailtime in “It’s A Wonderful Life”, one of my three favorite movies.  

Clark Griswold gets his Christmas bonus restored so he can pay for his swimming pool.  

Two couples in “The Holiday” find romance where they least expected it.  

Scrooge’s life is redeemed in “A Christmas Carol”.  

Ralphie gets his BB gun in “A Christmas Story”.  

Kevin is reunited with his family in “Home Alone I” and its sequel, the only worth while selections in this series.  

And even in “Love Actually” at least there are a couple of happy endings mixed in with the disappointments.  

Maybe that is one of the reasons I like that movie so well. Not all of the situations end happily. A little realism is nice among the holly and the tinsel.  

But what separates those movies from the holiday mush of the Hallmark and Lifetime offerings is that on the way to the happy endings the characters experienced struggles and disappointments.  

The road to Christmas happiness was not paved with perfection. The Christmas holidays start almost before the last trick-or-treater has made it home on Halloween.  

With this Thanksgiving weekend the holidays go into overdrive. Strive to have a great Christmas, but don’t feel like a failure if it isn’t a prefect one. Not even Santa can bring you that kind of gift. 


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