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Film / Saving Christmas

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Take up your giant candy cane and your Palantír, Kirk Cameron; Christmas is in trouble again!

Kirk Cameron's 2014 faith-based Mockumentary on how symbols like Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, and commercialism are all a part of the true meaning of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Not to be confused with the common Christmas Special plot where the characters have to help out Santa, nor is it to be confused with Ernest Saves Christmas.

Saving Christmas contains the following tropes:

  • Artistic License – History: Kirk's retelling of St. Nicholas giving Arius a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown is based on the popular story of the two coming to blows at the First Council of Nicaea. While the theological debates did get heated, the event itself never happened because Nicholas was likely never present at the council. Though Arius was, our earliest accounts of Nick's presence are from the 14th Century, where he is said to have slapped (not punched) "a certain Arian" (not Arius himself) and received censure from the councillors.
  • As Himself: Kirk Cameron and his real-life sister Bridgette play themselves.
  • Author Tract: Obviously, but Kirk spends the first four minutes of the film sitting in an easy chair next to a Christmas tree pontificating about how great materialism is, and how other people are just wet blankets and don't really like hot chocolate.
  • Badass Santa: Kirk's retelling of the origin of Saint Nicholas involves him beating the tar out of someone. Nothing is said about any real intellectual debate beforehand and Santa looks like a psychopath. One gets the impression that it's okay to go out and assault people who believe differently.
  • Buffy Speak:
    • Kirk wants to imagine the St. Nicolas story as more The Lord of the Rings-y.note 
    • Christian describes a Christmas tree as a "pagan idol symbol worshiping thingy."
  • Character Filibuster:
    • Diondre rambles at Christian about various things, like T-shirt Friday.
    • The conspiracy theorist who babbles at Diondre about the War on Christmas. Diondre was rather shocked, ironically since he does the same thing.
  • Clueless Aesop:
  • Commercialized Christmas: Much of the discussion in the film is Kirk tying himself into all sorts of logical and rhetorical knots to prove that this is both a good thing and properly honors the birth of Christ.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Even if he's being very quiet and respectful, apparently.
  • Covers Always Lie: The trailer implies that it's about stripping away materialism from the holiday season and celebrating the "Christ" part of Christmas. In actuality, the film actively embraces said materialism, very tenuously tying it into the story of Christ's birth with a lot of forced parallels and labored analogies to give it a significance it doesn't really have. Antagonist Christian is actually more in keeping with the movie's intended message than Kirk ever is, inadvertently making him Meaningfully Named in a conventional sense.
    • The cover/poster is worse - it makes the movie look a lot more fun than it actually is, seemingly invoking An Ass-Kicking Christmas, but Cameron sadly never clocks anyone in the noggin with a giant candy cane. In fact, no one ever does anything physically strenuous in the whole movie prior to the Dance Party Ending, nor does any shining and spherical MacGuffin show up at any point in this, a movie that takes place near-entirely in a car parked outside a suburban home.
  • Easy Evangelism: Kirk tells Christian that his feelings are "all wrong", with no investigation of the source of his feelings and thoughts. In response, Christian breakdances not long after.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: The film clearly aims to reach families, and in the intro Kirk mentions how sometimes parents in bedtime stories might be "thinking the stories were a bit too scary". And then a scene has a quite detailed retelling of Herod's massacre of the innocents. In addition to Saint Nicholas beating a guy nearly to death for not believing enough.
  • Filming for Easy Dub: The reason why the conspiracy theorist covers up his mouth with a cup. In a live-action film.
  • Four Terms Fallacy: The main argument is based on freely swapping between the "made of matter" and "greedy" definitions of materialism.
  • The Grinch: The ironically-named Christian is down on Christmas because it's too materialistic.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: One point of Diondre's extended ramble is about him protesting for "straight power".
  • Hijacked by Jesus: Kirk's thesis is that even the secular traditions of Christmas all reflect the birth of Jesus in some way or other. Also, there are no pagan origins.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Surprisingly enough, downplayed. Kirk does attempt to rebut several common atheistic arguments about Christmas, but the film doesn't really do much to demonize atheists in general, and just lumps them in with the other non-fundamentalist Christian viewpoints.
  • Hypocrite:
    Kirk: Sure, don't max out your credit cards. But remember, this is a celebration of the eternal God taking on a material body. So it's right that our holiday is marked with material things.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The Movie.
    • For instance, as one review noted, the reasoning behind pagan-based Christmas trees?
      "There are trees in the Garden of Eden, and Jesus was crucified on planks of wood, so ta dah - Christmas trees!"
    • A rather epic strain of logic using the word "material" in that buying material goods celebrates God's material form, Jesus. This obviously ignores that the Bible and story of Jesus existed before the word "material", and that Jesus' "material" form is more about him becoming a flesh-and-blood human being to walk among us. Not as endorsement to indulge ourselves with big elaborate meals and spending excessive amounts of money on frivolous things.
    • "Jesus came to Earth in a material body, so we celebrate Christmas with material things." Evidently, Kirk has never heard of homonyms. Basically, the film boils down to "We know our lives do not match up with our teachings, so here's this troll logic to justify it... because that's easier than actually living like Christians."
  • Meaningful Name: "Christian" parrots many objections to Christmas celebrations that are popular among certain Fundamentalist Christians.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Saint Nicholas to Arius, as Kirk apparently interpreted "smote him on the cheek" as "smashed his face against a table, dragged him outside and beat him half to death with a cane."
  • No Mouth: The conspiracy theorist covers his mouth with a cup while talking.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kirk is red to Christian's blue.
  • Saving Christmas: Pretty much averted, despite the title, because Santa Claus doesn't seem to be in any danger from Christian's straw arguments.
  • Slasher Smile: Uncle Bill in his Santa outfit spends several minutes looking menacingly directly at the viewer, waving his fist and cracking his knuckles as if getting ready to re-enact the Saint Nicholas beatdowns that were just shown.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Straw Character: Christian is bummed out that Christmas is getting too materialistic. Kirk spends the movie essentially telling him to chill out. Christian's only real function is to put up objections to Christmas for Kirk to knock down... which makes no real sense, when one of Christian's objections is how they spend absurd amounts of money for trivial things that will be out of style in a few months and they don't need to begin with, versus spending even a fraction of that digging wells in drought-plagued regions of the world.
  • Take That!: There are a few scenes mocking conspiracy theorists.
  • Take That, Audience!: The movie actively makes fun of conspiracy-minded Christians as well as the War on Christmas. It can come across as being both incredibly misguided and hypocritical, considering the Insane Troll Logic used in this movie.invoked
  • Totally Radical: Movie critic Peter Sobczynski called the hip hop version of "Angels We Have Heard On High" in the film the whitest thing he'd ever heard in his entire life.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Kirk loves his hot chocolate. Which apparently comes from an empty cup.
  • True Meaning of Christmas: An odd example. According to the film, the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus - but the oft-reviled materialism and commercialism and gluttony of secular Christmas celebrations are a fine way to celebrate that because they all reflect Jesus...somehow.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: The black guy Diondre who babbles about conspiracy theories... or his anti-LGBT activism... or something. Sadly, he's probably the only part of the film that isn't boring.
    Smeghead: Mmm, preach on, girlfriend! You tell 'em! (finger snap) Wait, did he just say "straight power"?
    The Cinema Snob: Anyone who says "straight power" most definitely isn't straight!
    Kyle Norty: Oh, God! It’s amazing you managed to pack both every black stereotype and every gay stereotype into one character!