The advent of Christmas is one of the busiest and noisiest times of year—a season of getting and spending in which we lay waste our credit cards. It should be a holy time, but it has become an orgy of consumerism in the temples of commerce. It is not peaceful, and it is certainly not silent.
It is a sign of the shrinking of the modern soul and the jaded and scientific cynicism of the contemporary age that we have nearly lost our capacity to wonder—even at the greatest of miracles. We have replaced it with a materialistic obsession and a voracious greed. But it is wonder that would make us feel small and selfless, that would cause us to give. It is materialism that makes us feel large and greedy and causes us to take. We have traded our souls for stuff, and we have lost them.
But despite, or perhaps because of, the materialism that is so prevalent, it is obvious that humanity is desperate for something to believe in, something to wonder at. The shallow satisfaction of Things dies as soon as there is something new to be had. Which is to say, immediately. And so we grasp after something deeper, something unbelievable to believe in.
Nowhere is this better evidenced than Hollywood. The unending theme of Christmas movies is the unbelieving cynic who needs to gain or regain the “spirit” of Christmas—that spirit being a sense of wonder and joy and faith in something that cannot be understood.
Pop culture is very often right about what is wrong, but it is almost always wrong about what is right, and this certainly true of Christmas movies. In these films, Hollywood has indeed stumbled on a profound theological truth: We must believe, we must wonder like a child at something to be

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