Friday, December 10, 2010

How Is Your Christmas Spirit-o-meter?

I know this movie is not a classic, especially since it was only released a few years ago, but honestly, it is my all time favorite movie ever!

My husband always gives me a confused side glance when I laugh hysterically at this movie, even though I have seen it dozens upon dozens of times. He fails to see the amazing humor in it that I do, but that is okay! To each her own, right?

So I admit it -I love the movie Elf, starring Will Farrell. I kid you not, I could watch it a thousand times and never get tired of it (maybe that says something about my intelligence, or sanity, but what-everrrrrr). Smiles.

I just love to have a good laugh, and this is a sure recipe for that every time.

I enjoy this movie from the first scene to the last scene. But what I love most about Buddy the Elf is his attitude.(note: just in case you do not know - he was named Buddy because that was the brand name that was on the diaper he was wearing on the night Santa visited the orphanage on Christmas eve, when he crawled into Santas bag and was accidentally taken back to the North Pole. Ha.)

Yes, yes, I know - Buddy grew up at the North Pole, where life revolved around candy canes, friendly penguins, hot cocoa, toy making, and song singing.

But even in the real/reel world, when Buddy treks out to find his real dad in New York City, he does not let the negativity, harsh treatment and bad attitudes of society, affect his own joyful attitude about life.

He is a great example for optimism and enthusiasm about life, despite life.

After Buddy journeyed through the Candy Cane Forest, which somehow landed him in Times Square, Buddy found out where his father worked and entered the high rise. When he first met his father, who had no knowledge of Buddys existence until then, everyone found Buddy to be extremely odd.

His green elf outfit, cotton-ball eating, bizarre singing, and crazy smiling was a little out of the ordinary. As a result of his extreme uniqueness, outgoing personality, and positive perspective about life, people shunned him, made fun of him, ran away from him, and pushed him away.

Buddy's feelings were hurt, but it did not change his attitude. He pushed forward, continuing to believe that life was good and that joy was not lost.

Eventually the girl he had a crush on, plus his dads wife, and his half brother, came to realize that there was something special about him, on the inside. They soon began to look past the outward appearance, and see the inward heart.

Eventually, they all embraced him, and his "uniqueness", and by the end of the movie, they all how special he really was.

There are several wonderful life truths we can take away from this movie - in addition to lots of silly fun and laughter - but today I want to focus on one specific lesson..............contagious attitudes.

Think back for a moment .....have you ever been around someone who was negative, discouraged, pessimistic, unhappy and always complaining? Maybe you are around someone like today, and every day.

If so, have you noticed how easy it is to be infected with that persons negativity, and become someone that is negative and pessimistic as well?

I have found myself in those situations before, and forced to spend time with people whose outlook on life was definitely not a bowl of cherries - and I have had to work at not being infected by their negativity. Pessimism is an airborne germ and highly contagious.

The good news is that optimism is just as contagious!

If we are going to be infected by someones attitude, or infect other people with our own attitudes, dont we want it to be with something good!

Buddy the Elf's attitude, although a little off the chart when it comes to enthusiasm, was warm, optimistic, positive, constantly seeing the good in people and situations, finding joy in the little things, and always filled with love. It appears he did not have a negative or unkind germ in his body.

How I wish I could be more like Buddy every day. No matter how hard I try, sometimes keeping a good attitude is just plain hard.

Even when I wake up in the morning and make a personal commitment to be positive, kind, patient, sweet and loving all day long - it sometimes only takes a short while before I find myself stumbling.

Buddy lived in a fictional world, we live in the real world. A world that is packed full of attitude stumbling blocks from daybreak to dusk.

But just as Buddy chose not to let the attitude of the outside worlds affect his own, we can make that same choice as well...... because we have that "something more".

Unlike Buddy, we have several things to help us stay focused on being positive.

For example, we have the Holy Spirit within us to help us with this daunting task of staying positive and optimistic in the midst of hardships, criticism, and chaos.

We have the manger scene, that signifies the Christmas season, and reminds us of the sweet, unselfish, gentle, optimistic and unconditional love that Jesus offers each and every day.

We have Gods Word. More specifically, we have Galatians 5:22, which reminds us that our lives are to bear fruit through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness that we exhibit to others in our lives... and through positive attitudes.

At the end of this movie, Santas sleigh can barely get off the ground because the hearts of the people of the New York have lost their Christmas spirit.

But when Buddys girlfriend, Jovie, begins to sing holiday songs, her Christmas spirit becomes contagious to all those around her. Soon, everyone in the crowd begins singing as well, and the Christmas spirit engine on Santas sleigh is re-energized, helping it soar through the sky for all to see.

Because of Jovies Christmas spirit - her joy became contagious, and others came to believe in Christmas as a result.

Sadly, our world is also lacking in Christmas spirit, not just holiday spirit, but The Spirit. Our world is full of lost people, refusing to believe in the Christ that is the reason for Christmas.

God calls us to spread the Christmas Spirit, not only at Christmas, but every day of the year. And not only with songs, but with our lives, our words, and our actions.

Although the Christmas spirit in the movie was about singing and believing in the worlds view of holiday spirit, in an effort to boost the power of Santas sleigh - the Christmas spirit within us is alive, real and powerful, and His spirit gives us power to get through this thing called life.

It is a spirit that can change lives and impact hearts forever - including our own. It is His Spirit that is truly contagious, and something that we should be excited about passing along to others.

One of my favorite lines in the movie Elf, is when Buddys supposed boss at the department store, asks him why he keeps smiling, and Buddy answers "I like to smile. Smiling is my favorite!"

Consider these three questions today, and how you are ranking on your Christmas spirit-o-meter:

1 - What attitude you have chosen today/this Christmas - do you want it to be contagious?
2 - Are you an angry elf (as Buddy calls the grumpy midget in the movie) or are you a joyful elf?
3 - Is smiling your favorite?

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear... or... is it living loud for all to hear? The choice is ours.

The movie clip for this post could not be embedded:
CLICK HERE to watch a video clip from the end of the Elf movie where Jovie sings loud and clear and spreads the Christmas spirit for all to hear.

I just love this movie. Did I say that yet? Hee Hee. As a result, I am going to harp on Buddy again on Monday. See you then. Smiles.

How Is Your Christmas Spirit-o-meter?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Trina said...

This is an AWESOME post! Thank you for taking the time to put everything I too, feel about Elf The Movie into words of God's love, kindness, and spirituality. I am convicted at my chronic attitude of negativity and pessimism. I so want "Smiling to be my Favorite" and to "Sing and Live loud for ALL to hear." It is a choice to be joyful and to live in a mindset of kindness and grace.
Blessings from this side of the Candy Cane Forest to yours,

Danette said...

My two favorite lines:

I'm in love! I'm in love! And I don't care who knows it!

I'm a human, raised by humans.

Love, love, love that movie!!!

Anonymous said...

I love Buddy the Elf too!!! And it IS a CLASSIC!!! ; )

Karen said...

Great post! And perfect for me to read today as it is one of those days where I would like to go to bed, wake up, and start again. You know, the kind of day where there's all sorts of little frustrations. Yep, that's been my day so far. :) But I am trying to re-focus and choose to have the right attitude. And I've had a few chocolate chip cookies too... LOL

My daughter loves the movie Elf. We haven't watched it yet this season but I know we will here pretty soon!

It is true that a positive attitude can be contagious too. So today, I am choosing to try to have a positive attitude and not let those little frustrations build upon each other and make me have a negative attitude. :)

Thanks for this post!