Saturday, October 31, 2015

Christmas with a Capital C: Movie Review

Christmas with a Capital C

The people of Trapper Falls, Alaska have enjoyed their traditional Christian Christmas decorations for many years. No one has ever challenged the tradition until Mitch Bright returns to town.

Christmas with a Capital C

The town of Trapper Falls, Alaska has enjoyed its Christmas traditions for many, many years. The town nativity scene decorates the front of a government office building and the town’s people hang “Merry Christmas” and “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” signs all over town. No one has protested the traditional Christmas celebrations until Mitch Bright (played by Daniel Baldwin) comes to town. Mitch, who grew up in Trapper Falls, returns to his hometown and decides to run for Mayor. The office is currently held by Dan Reed (played by Ted McGinley), Mitch’s former high school rival and the one who won the heart of the girl who is now Ted’s wife, Kristin (played by Nancy Stafford).
Mitch challenges Dan’s conservative ideas, telling him his religious piety is annoying. Mitch paints a picture of American people as loving, peaceful, and “tolerant.”  He files an injunction which prevents the town from displaying any religious decorations on government property.

Mitch has a few ideas, other than challenging the keeping of Christ in Christmas, which might help bring the town additional revenue. He introduces the idea of offering excursions to a nearby glacier in addition to the only one currently available.

When Dan confronts Mitch about the injunction, Mitch explains that religious displays on government property establishes a religion which is against the law. He tells Dan that he thinks Christians are hypocrites and he feels the same people who claim to be Christians are the same ones who cuss him out in the mall parking lots.

Dan promises to fight him so that the town may keep their Christian traditions which they have always valued.

Meanwhile, the town’s people begin to remove their “Merry Christmas” and “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” signs. One waitress refrains from saying “Merry Christmas,” greeting her customers with “Happy Holidays” instead.

These changes strike the nerve of Dan’s brother, Greg (played by Brad Stine). Greg is not as “tactful” as his political-minded brother, but instead, allows his thoughts to roll off his tongue as quickly as they form in his brain. His character provides hilarious comic relief to the show.

Dan believes Mitch’s ulterior motive for his Mayoral run is too see how many people he can sway in the non-Christian direction, rather than actually perform the duties of a town Mayor.

Mitch goes so far as to ask a child, the current Mayor’s daughter, to stop standing and singing Christmas songs in town while dressed like an angel. Greg, the child’s uncle, physically stops Mitch.

Dan believes Mitch and those like him, do not simply want equal representation under the law, but they want Christians to have no representation at all.
At a small town meeting, the members discuss the laws regarding religious Christmas decorations. Some believe Christians should not cave and remove the decorations just because one person doesn’t like it. Another idea is that the decorations should not become idols themselves. The members work to come up with a solution which involves “doing” Christmas while emphasizing that the Christian response to others is of most importance. They base their idea on the scripture of Philippians, chapter 2. They decide that they will not simply “roll over” and allow Mitch to “win” but instead, will prove him wrong through their actions which represent the attitude of Christ manifested in His believers. They call their campaign “Christmas with a Capital C.”

The town’s people become servants and begin to do nice things for one another all over town. Ted’s daughter, the angel who was asked to stop singing, realizes no one has done anything nice for Mitch so she bakes him cookies. Mitch doesn’t appear to be home when she attempts to deliver the cookies so she leaves them on his front porch in a package adorned with a big capital C.

That night, the little angel, with her father by her side, prays for Mitch.

A lawyer arrives to counsel the Mayor and the town counsel about how to handle the situation. “On the record,” the attorney must rule against religious decorations if the town government owns it and displays it on government property. However, “off the record,” she offers a few options. The town can sell the decorations to a private owner who can display them for all to enjoy. They can add other decorations to the display which will include decorations from other beliefs, or they can decide not to display them at all. The attorney adds that the latter decision would be a shame. She also advises that moving the Christ child does not take away from his deity.

Dan is upset by the decision, but his wife and daughter decide not to let the situation ruin their Christmas.

 Meanwhile, they learn some surprising information about Mitch Bright. Is he really the “Grinch” he seems to be?

Dan and his son have a conversation about his son’s relationship with a young girl and a ski competition which helps them to see that you have to see past the competition to see the person.

Some of the town’s people had counted on Mitch’s contact coming to town to discuss the new cruise line, but his contact falls through, leaving Mitch a bit “down.” When Mitch doesn’t show up for a late night Christmas celebration, Dan decides to go to Mitch’s home. After all, Christians are to share the “Good News” with ALL people. Soon to follow are Dan’s wife and daughter with more cookies. The rest of the town follows to Mitch’s home, bringing “housewarming” gifts. Even though Mitch knows the gifts are actually Christmas gifts, he welcomes them and those who brought them into his home – with a warm smile. Dan sees that Christmas is not celebrated in decorations but in the hearts of the people who worship the ONE whose birth Christians celebrate.

Will the town’s expression of love and forgiveness have an impact of Mitch?

Watch the move and find out.

Christmas with a Capital C
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