What a beautiful day today was! Walking around in the sunshine wearing shorts, sandals & sunglasses brought a smile to my face and, naturally, led me to contemplate the outrageous underlying themes of Christmas movies.
Let me preface by encouraging any young readers to stop reading this and instead reach for a different (but of similar quality) piece of literature like Shakespeare. Or Cosmo. And here’s a second preface: this is not a debate regarding Santa Claus’s existence. He proved his presence once and for all last year when he got me Kendra Scott earrings even though I never told anyone that that’s what I wanted. No one would just assume a sorority girl in her 20’s would want Kendra’s. Shout out to you, Santa.
Christmas movies are the bomb. They’re full of lovable characters you proudly root for, grouchy characters you willingly root against and timeless themes that get you through the stress of the holidays. But almost all Christmas movies share a similar plot element that just irritates me to my core.
The parents never believe in Santa Claus.
Now here’s the thing, in the real, non-movie world in which you and I reside, parents don’t believe in Santa because, well, ya know. But in the fictitious, magical world of Hollywood, Santa exists…in every Christmas movie. That fact is sometimes just a minor detail – an assumed standard. But other times, the existence of Santa is revealed to non-believers toward the end of a movie as part of the climax. And that is what sends me over the edge.
How do the parents not believe in Santa? No but really, how? It would be like your mom not believing the waiters in restaurants are real. “Yeah, I see that there is now a plate of food in front of me, but my husband probably made that happen without my knowledge and I will blindly accept that and not question it further.”
Their daughter opens a gift that neither parent has purchased. Who does Mom and Dad think put that there? If the unfamiliar wrapping paper wasn’t the first clue, the never-before-seen toy in their daughter’s lap should raise some flags. Does Mom think Dad must have bought the toy? Does Dad assume Mom threw it under the tree last-minute? And why don’t they discuss it later?
And what about the cookies? Who eats them? Is there no communication at all between Mom and Dad during Christmas? Perhaps these couples should delve further into some deeper issues following this holiday season.
Maybe we should backtrack to the parents’ childhood. In this land where Santa has always existed, wouldn’t the parents have received gifts as children and so be familiar with the process? Were all Christmas-movie-parents on the Naughty List and therefore never received presents?
I guess the subtle lesson here is to let your parents think you believe in Santa as long as you can. I can tell you from experience that the day you admit you know there’s no Santa is the day you start receiving half as many gifts. So keep that in mind this December. Enjoy the rest of your April!