One Christmas tradition Amanda and I have is going to see movies on Christmas Day. Since we do a big Christmas eve worship gathering, typically our Christmas Day is super low key. So we’ll get tickets to a couple of movies, sleep in exchange our first day of Christmas gifts and then spend the afternoon in the theater.
The last couple of years have been pretty huge disappointments.
Last year, obviously, theaters weren’t open.
But the year before that… we got tickets to Holmes & Watson, the Will Ferrell/John C Reilly collaboration.
Those guys have made some very funny movies – Anchorman and Step-Brothers, just to name a couple. And I loooove Sherlock Holmes, so I was ready to laugh until I cried.
I still remember when the credits rolled on the movie. Amanda looked over at me – who had not laughed once for 2 straight hours – and said, “I’m sorry, my love.”
I wouldn’t know it until a day later, but the film had a 0% on RottenTomatoes. Everyone hated this movie. It was aggressively unfunny. Absolutely terrible.
It’s probably the most disappointed I’ve been on Christmas in a long time.
What about you? Can you think of a time you’ve felt disappointment connected to Christmas? Maybe as a kid it’s a gift you were really hoping for that never showed up. Or one that did show up and, when it did, it was… just okay. (Or, as a parent, you got your kid that thing and then the next day you find it abandoned under the couch.)
But maybe your disappointments are sharper. Maybe there’s a person who won’t be celebrating with us this year and you feel their absence. A relationship you were sure would be mended that’s still broken. Or maybe you can’t believe we’re about to celebrate another COVID Christmas.
If there’s a gap between where Christmas actually is and where you hoped it would be, then you’re not alone.
In fact, the Advent season invites us to rejoin our spiritual ancestors in a long grappling with their disappointment with God.