I have loved old, classic movies from the time I was a little girl. I prided myself on being a film aficionado, memorizing the dialogue and finding out random facts about some of my favorite old movies, actors, and actresses.
That being said, there is something purely magical about the Christmas season. And one of my favorite categories of movies is Christmas movies.
And yes, I think they deserve a category of their own!
The Deeper Meaning Behind Favorite Christmas Movies
As Catholics, we believe truth, beauty, and goodness can be found in all kinds of places or experiences. Beauty, nature, art, poetry, media, film, novels…the possibilities are endless. God will go to nearly any means for us to be able to experience His presence in our lives.
What would happen if we looked more closely at some of our favorite Christmas movies for a deeper spiritual meaning? I think we would find something more than just a happy song and dance scene from White Christmas.
Miracle on 34th Street
This is a sweet tale of a little girl raised to not believe in Santa Claus. But there is something deeper here than a kind, old Kris Kringle who befriends a single mom and her daughter.
On a very deep level, all people I believe want to believe in something. There is this innate space inside us that aches for belief. For Christians, we would call this faith. One of my favorite lines from the movie is when Fred Gailey is arguing with Doris Walker and says, “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”
Life may not always make sense or feel good. But faith is a virtue that can strengthen us in those times when life just doesn’t make sense.
Deep down, I think we all want to believe in something greater than ourselves. While Santa Claus cannot top Jesus, I think this sweet story reminds me that people of all ages want to believe in something. As people of faith, we know that Jesus is the One who fills all those longings in our hearts.
It’s a Wonderful Life
This is one of my top five favorite movies of all time. I know the lines by heart, and even though I know the play-by-play of the scenes, I still weep at certain poignant moments.
The deeper message of this movie is that we are sometimes very unaware of how much a difference our life makes in the world. George Bailey was a man with bold, fierce dreams for his life. But as the story develops, his own life goes differently than how he imagined it from the time he was a little boy reading explorer magazines.
One scene that always pulls at my heartstrings is at the end of the movie. George is at that bridge he jumped off. He is praying and telling God that he wants to live again. George has a conversion of heart. It is a beautiful scene to watch unfold.
Sometimes it is easy to go through life thinking no one sees you. Perhaps you feel forgotten and overlooked.
This movie always reminds me that my one life matters more than I realize. God has a purpose and mission that only I can fulfill. And if I live that life well, it can bring a part of the Kingdom of God in a special way no other person can.
You matter. You are irreplaceable. George Bailey reminds us of that in a powerful way.
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The Muppet Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ classic tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge has been re-told in cinema over the years. But one of my personal favorites is the version featuring the Muppets. In my family growing up, it was a tradition to watch it at least one or twice every Christmas season.
When I watch this movie, I am struck by the internal conversion of Mr. Scrooge. He’s grouchy, harsh, and selfish. But in time, his heart softens. He cares for the poor, does right by the people in his office, and extends extreme generosity.
When I watch this heart-warming story I am reminded that no person is too far-gone.
Never give up on the difficult people in your life. There is always hope for the people in life that we think will never change.
What are Your Favorite Meaningful Christmas Movies?
The Advent and Christmas season of the Church gives us the time and space to ponder the great mystery of the Incarnation; when Jesus took on human flesh and pitched His tent among us.
Even some of our favorite Christmas movies can be an opportunity to reflect on a deeper, more timeless message that connects to the reason for the season.
Are there other Christmas movies you enjoy that you could find a deeper meaning in?The Deeper Meaning of Your Favorite Christmas Movies #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Patty Breen is a regular contributor to the BIS blog and a devotion writer. She is a full-time lay minister who finds joy in running, strong cups of coffee, and all things Ignatian spirituality. A Midwestern gal from the mitten state, she is constantly learning to find grace in all things. She is passionate about ministry to divorced Catholics and women whose relationships have been impacted by sexual addiction. You can find out more about her here.