Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Holly Jolly Christmas

It is in the air, everywhere! The white camelias blooming around town add a bit of white to our Southern Christmas. The downtown lights are up, Christmas carols are in the air.

Traveling to the shopping part of town for the second weekend in a row was a traffic-harrowing experience with so many shoppers out. We ended up stopping at the movies for The Golden Compass, a movie geared toward children and released for the Christmas season.

Grandson wants to see it and a review by the adults of any controversial movie is worthwhile before letting the kids see it. At first I thought I would not let him see it, but mom was thinking about taking him, so the "spy" (me) went out.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this film, with some Christian groups strongly against seeing the film. There are pros and cons. It is full of "magic" - and each person in this world has an animal counterpart - the movie script calls them demons. There are witches flying in the air and there is a war against the establishment. But I found it no more offensive than fairy tales, the SciFi channel, or Harry Potter. The polar bears and animated animals make seeing the movie worthwhile I think. It's another fairy tale. I think the "moral" of the story was that good is preferable over evil and that much is clear. Some objections probably come from the term "demons" (talking animals) and witches being on the "good" side.......

I am a spiritual warrior, I know about familiar spirits and I have seen enough of the spirit world to know things exist that we should NOT mess with. I also went through the era where some of the church would see a "demon" behind everything. I do not believe that God wants us to be in fear, but we do need caution and wisdom.

If in doubt, see the movie before taking the child. I think the key is to know your child and to explain where and why the movie or film or cartoon or whatever conflicts with family beliefs. This movie will not be the first or last exposure a child gets to these points of view. Lewis' book, "Chronicles of Narnia" which is often called a Christian allegory has its witch and scary components.

From experience, forbidding something often makes it more alluring when the child gets older.

Some critics say the books from which the movie is taken are about throwing off the authority of the church. Well, so were the accusations against Wycliffe and many others during the reformation. Some say the books kill "God" who turns out not to be God, after all. Maybe the false god that died has a message about the false gods many Christians carry in their lives? (I'm not leaving myself out of this.)

From the popular characters, Batman, Superman, Heroes, etc., my grandson began to wish that he had super powers to keep evil out of the world. I explained to him while super powers would be a very cool thing to have, some people would not use them wisely. So God did an over ride and gave us a Super Power that God ultimately controls. The super power is prayer. We can pray that evil will leave the earth, we can pray lots of things. But if the prayer is not a good prayer, well, God will over ride that and, having much more wisdom than we do, will honor the goodness in our hearts and fix that prayer up before working on it.

I raised the first child too loosely, thinking he would find HIS own way. Well, turns out he was a child, not a miniature adult and needed way more guidance than he got. The second one and the third (for a while) were raised very strictly and somewhat controlled. Neither way was the right answer. Kids live in a world that can hurt them, but they need guidance (not over-control) to learn how to handle things that they encounter.

I know not everyone will agree with me, but that's ok. And I might change my mind down the road, who knows?

Anyway, then we had gingerbread lattes and gingerbread, and enough left over to bring home treats. We looked for Christmas presents for teachers, and decided to - for now work to get the boy to make them.

Tonight I hope to do a Christmas letter, its getting too late to send Christmas cards. For all those that I have email addresses for, I can email the letter. Christmas letters have to be so carefully written - have you ever received one with glamour shot photos (popular in the U.S.) of mom, and so much bragging on the kids' exploits, you've gone ho-hum? I have. And I have written some too, haha.

Well, homemade meat pies are in the oven, I'm calling in the boy and Dad - they are putting up the outdoor lights. Funny, I have lots of pink roses blooming under those lights!


Hattigrace said...

I have some interesting info on that movie, will email it to you. I agree, too loose and they have no direction, too stern and they rebell. Oi, it is a task learning how to parent.

Yes, I hate those Cmas letters that are so "perfect"!! Isn't that evil of me?

Gardenia said...

No, Hattigrace, that's not evil - or maybe I'm making excuses because its evil of me too - haha.

Yes, its a task learning to be a parent. From the time they are born until we die, I think. Its an awesome responsibility.

I think I squirmed worse during the Harry Potter movies - we don't have any of the books though and probably won't have any of the Compass books.

It is a thin line to walk, because kids take things really very literally - that's why I always hated teasing so much. Again, communicate, communicate, communicate!

Candy Minx said...

I've read the trilogy that the books movie is based on.

I wasn't raised Christian so I often don't notice the kindsof details a fundamentalist Christian would be offended by...

I loved the books and think they are incredible. There is a bit of info I have that the author Pullman...felt there was a negative undertone to the CS Lewis novel about he wrote this trilogy to be more positive felingfor children. His opinion was that there were some negative messages in Narnia.

I've read both series and I don't think they are negative unspiritual. I found both sets of books spiritual.

Gardenia said...

thanks Candy!

tshsmom said...

Great post! I totally agree.
My parents(avid FoxNews viewers), are having a fit over this movie. I didn't tell them that I had already bought the books for my hubby for Christmas.
We'll read the books and decide from there.