I finally sat down to watch Veggie Tales: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Givingdvd this week. I have to admit that I previewed it before Lydia saw it because I have a “thing” about Santa. Kinda similar to the Easter and Halloween issues I have. I’m not fanatically opposed to the jolly old elf. But we don’t get our picture taken with Santa. I don’t have a lot of Santa paraphernalia at our house. In fact, when Lydia was 2 she saw a giant Santa figurine at the store and said, “Noah!” (*giggle*)
So, I was just wondering where Veggie Tales was going to go with a Saint Nicholas/Santa Claus movie. It started off in modern day with all the veggie kids (Junior, Laura, etc.) discussing all the great things they were going to get from Santa. Junior had a gold coin that he was going to use to buy a gift for himself on top of all the Christmas gifts he was going to get the next day. Bob interrupts their greedy musings by asking them if they know Santa’s real name. This leads them into the story of Saint Nicholas’ life.
Nicholas was a small boy pepper in Greece. His parents loved Jesus and gave freely to everyone around them. They soon died and Nicholas was devastated. He ran away and eventually landed in Israel. He stumbles upon a church and sees a woman giving away bread in Jesus’ name. He recognizes the same love in her that was in his parents. He learns that “we love because He loved. We give because He gave.” (<—that is not an exact quote.)
God eventually tells Nicholas to go back home. When he does he sees his town has been taken over by an evil non-gift-giving gourd. And this is where Nicholas’ gift giving begins. Nicholas hears of three girls (uhm, scallions) that must pay a fine to the gourd or be thrown in jail. He dons a costume (a la Larry-Boy. *snicker*) and drops a bag of gold into a sock drying in the window. He does this for the next two nights and saves all three of the girls.
There is much chasing and rigmarole as Nicholas tries to outwit the Gourd. It’s quite funny and loaded with silly Americanized-Santa humor.
In the end, the veggie kids are inspired by Nicholas’ life. Junior decides to give his gold coin to Laura’s dad so he can fix his broken down work truck. The entire town gets involved and a la It’s a Wonderful Life, Christmas is saved.
WHY EVERY CHILD SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE:
The turning of greed to giving was perfectly displayed. Nicholas began as an unimpressed kid, had a significant encounter with Jesus and then used his life to show Jesus’ love to others. Veggie Tales is rarely this blatant in their Jesus-ness.
I also loved that this DVD will now be on rotation with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman in living rooms around the country. I love that kids will have a true view of the saint turned legend. When kids can see what the true story is behind this man, I think it will take the glow of magic off of him–in a good way! Overall, I think it will help kids see that the gifts we receive have a history in Jesus’ love and giving.
Not to mention, the movie was hilarious. Mr. Lunt had some great one-liners, as usual. Plus, there are some great partnerships in the Christian music world and with Operation Christmas Child to go along with the movie. They are putting into action the message of this movie.
WHY NOT EVERY CHILD SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE:
This is why I hate am so over Santa. Do we really have to combine Santa with Jesus’ birth any more? The ending of the movie kind of gave this idea, “Give this Christmas because of baby Jesus. JUST LIKE SAINT NICHOLAS DID.” And although that’s a great sentiment, can’t we give because of Jesus’ gift PERIOD?
For Lydia, who barely understands the difference between Mickey and Santa and Jesus, I think this movie may confuse her further. I’ve been pounding “Santa is a character in a book” for so long that watching a movie that explains Santa IS real and actually has a connection to Jesus might muddy the waters. I’d almost let her watch Prep and Landing or Holly and Hal because it’s so out there that it has nothing to do with our our family traditions. I mean, the North Pole, elves and a flying reindeer seem fictional. So, Santa seems fictional. Does that make sense?
I might wait till next year until we watch this Saint Nicholas movie. Last year Lydia still didn’t even know who Santa was. This year she’s recognizing him and talking about him all with the underlying knowledge that he’s “not real”. When I ask her who Santa is or what his deal is she says, “He’s just pretend. He’s in a book!” Next year she’ll start hearing her friends talk about him and realize they believe he’s real. So, then we can take it a step further by finding out about his origins.
Overall, I think it’s a great one to own. But if you have small kids and you are trying to steer them away from believing in Santa, you’ll just have to decide if this movie helps or hurts your efforts.
Did you see the movie? What did you think? Did your kids like it?