What The Christmas Chronicles Taught Me About Assumptions
It is a week before Christmas and all through the house Christmas movies are watched and hot cocoa is drunk. There are many new movies this year from Hallmark channel to Hallmark channel, but Netflix abounds with new tales that warm the heart and cause me to pause. The Christmas Chronicles stars Kurt Russell as Santa Clause. I didn’t expect it to speak to assumptions and misconceptions we can hold on to about people in general.
The Christmas Chronicles follows Kate and Teddy, brother and sister, during their first Christmas without their dad. As they seek proof that Santa is real they hide on Santa’s sleigh and cause him all kinds of trouble. The sleigh wrecks, Santa loses his magical hat and bag of presents (there is also a portal to the North Pole), and Santa lands in jail leaving Kate and Teddy to get everything back in order so they can make up for the lost time and deliver presents around the world. It is a whirlwind of a movie with lots of laughter, charm, and thought. You and your family will enjoy it; it’s charming without being a repeat of all the other Santa movies on the market.
What surprised me is the continual references to how “the real Santa” is not what we have in our heads. Kurt Russell’s Santa is not at all fat and jolly. He is rather sarcastic, dry, and in pretty good shape; at the same time he is generous and intentional with every move he makes. Assumptions can keep us from realizing who the people around us really are. Every time Santa interacts with people they just think he is crazy, because he is not big and doesn’t go “ho, ho, ho.” Not living up to the picture that has been painted by everyone else doesn’t make him any less than who he is. He is who he is, no more and no less.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
Assumptions divide us and separate us from knowing who we really are to each other and ourselves. What others believe about us can start to shape how we view and what we believe is true about ourselves; it can also shape what we hold as truth about others. Assumptions are dangerous and can keep us from seeing the truth: we all can become whoever we decide we want to be. We can change and transform only by our spark of desire and the power of God on our side. That is what Teddy learns on the journey as he deals with the loss of his father and is at a crossroads in who he wants to become: continue down a destructive path or believe that he can still become all his dad believed he could be without his dad’s physical presence. Teddy started to believe that he could become a good man and he started stepping in that direction.
We can let assumptions measure us and box us in, or we can choose to break away from what others say we are, become who we want to be, and live unashamed of who we already are. Then we can choose to look at others the same way we view ourselves; this is where the cycle breaks down and assumption looses its power over us. We can live in the freedom of redemption. We are Christ’s before anything or anyone else’s.
You can stream The Christmas Chronicles starring Kurt Russell on Netflix now!