Friday, December 5, 2008

Classic Christmas Story Archetypes

The Bible says that there is nothing new under the sun. How true. I am reminded of that every Christmas time. We love the Christmas movie in our house. Yes, I said the Christmas movie. There is a very limited selection in the actual story that is included in Christmas movies. This is not unlike the Christmas album that every singer is obliged to release at least once in their careers. They sing all the same songs that everyone else has already sung. It is nothing new.

There are some actors that are associated with Christmas movies. Think about Bing Crosby. Bing made Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Going My Way. He was a Christmas institution. In recent years we have Tim Allen making a bid for Christmas movie immortality. Allen is in all the Santa Clause movies and Christmas with the Kranks. In the last few years we see Vince Vaughn in Fred Claus and now Four Christmases. But, by and large, most actors make the plunge to the Christmas movie genre.

The problem with Christmas movies is that there just are not that many stories in them. There is not a lot of creativity.
  • There are the stories about the "evil character who finally gets the Christmas spirit." This is where we get all the Christmas Carol and Scrooge movies. There are way too many variations on this one to name.
  • There are stories of "oppressed or poor people who survive and overcome" because of the true, giving nature of Christmas. Think It's a Wonderful Life.
  • There are all the "family is wonderful, and yet I hate them" Christmas movies. In this genre we can think of Christmas Vacation, Four Christmases, Christmas with the Kranks.
  • Then there are the "through the eyes of a child" Christmas movies. Here we can reminisce and enjoy A Christmas Story, Prancer and Meet Me in St. Louis.

Think about your favorite Christmas movie. Where does it fit in?

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