I struggle to feel happy during the Christmas season. I know that’s not exactly a radical statement. Most people have issues with one thing or another during the holiday. Maybe your family isn’t awesome to be around. Maybe your spouse’s family is terrible. Maybe you don’t have a family. There are many other common issues. It’s a tough time. For me, I’m single (ladies?), and Christmas shines a huge light on that fact. I don’t get questions like, “When are you going to find a girlfriend?” or the like. Nobody asks. I don’t mind. Everyone in my family is married except for me, and I’m happy for all of them. Most of my friends are married. I’m happy for them, too, except for Harrison and Melanie who rub their happiness in everyone’s faces. They can burn in Hell. I’m not bitter, though. I just haven’t met the right person or anime bodypillow.
I’m also fat. Not dying of a heart attack tomorrow fat, but fat nonetheless. Normally, I can ignore it, eat a salad, and pretend a short-haired Natalie Portman would date me. During the holidays, I’m given no opportunity to forget the fatness. Everyone has collectively decided that Christmas is the time to force loaves of sugar bread on everyone else. I don’t want your sugar bread. I want short-haired Natalie Portman! I can’t say no, though. It’s all there seems to be to eat. From Thanksgiving until New Years, it’s all sugar bread topped with sugar milk. Even the ham comes with sugar sauce, and every bloating bite I take is a reminder that I will be alone forever, unless I meet the right person or anime bodypillow.
In this lonely, diabetic time, I keep my spirits up by watching Christmas movies. That’s not true at all. I keep my spirits up by being hilarious and awesome, but it’s a good segue into talking about Christmas movies. It is true that I watch a lot of Christmas movies, though. I have several favorites, a few of which I’ll talk about this month. The one I’m writing about today, Ernest Saves Christmas, doesn’t rank as high as The Muppet Christmas Carol or Polar Express do on my list, but it’s still a great one.
Ernest Saves Christmas doesn’t really have a great message, like a lot of other Christmas movies. It isn’t wistful or dramatic. It’s not well shot, nor is it well acted by most of the cast. The only decent performance is by Jim Varney who plays Ernest. Maybe that’s why I like it. It’s a Christmas movie that doesn’t follow any of the guidelines of a Christmas movie. It doesn’t get too preachy or heavy handed. It’s just really, really funny.
There are two scenes that really exemplify the greatness of this Christmas movie, and neither is about Christmas. Neither involves the Jim Varney playing the Ernest character, either, at that. The first scene involves Ernest trying to find the location of another character. He dresses up as Varney’s Auntie Nelda character. Before I recently rewatched this movie, I had forgotten that this scene was in Ernest Saves Christmas. It has nothing to do with Christmas, doesn’t involve any other characters, and barely moves the plot. In spite of that, it exemplifies the mood of this movie where a scene doesn’t have to make sense to fit in, as long as it’s funny. The line that kills me is “I’ll be dead soon.”
The other scene that makes this movie for me is when Ernest is trying to sneak Santa into a movie studio for reasons that only make sense if you watch the movie. In order to get by the gate guard, Varney plays a snake farmer. Or is it snake rancher? Do you ranch snakes? He plays a snake rancher who’s delivering poisonous snakes to a horror movie. As funny as the majority of the scene is, the best part is the final few seconds where he begins singing the classic hymn Rock of Ages.
Did you know that, on a dark night, you can see the flicker of a candle flame up to about 30 miles away? This month, I planned to talk about four Christmas movies off my long list of favorites. Ernest Saves Christmas isn’t in the top ten, but it’s still a great movie to get you into the spirit of Christmas, if only because the spirit of Christmas isn’t just about feeling grateful. It’s not just love and kindness. Christmas is also about laughter. For me, a big part of the Christmas spirit involves looking at my life, my singleness, my fatitude and finding the joke in it. That’s what Christmas is, seeing the hopeful flicker of light in the darkness. If that doesn’t fill you with laughter, then you’re dead inside.