Valuable Lessons from Christmas Cartoons
It's November, and for those of us who celebrate it, the Christmas season has truly begun. That's partly because some retail giants have said so, via "preview" sales starting Friday. Plus, on a more personal level, the first in the 2007 series of Holiday Debates has begun between my mother and brother on the topic of Christmas Presents. My mom thinks they're delightful, and likes exchanging presents. She'd also like it if my brother would make a list. Whereas my brother thinks everyone in the family has everything they need, and says he certainly does. He thinks everyone should just make a donation to charity for Christmas. They both repeat their opinions every year.
Oh, how delightful that another Christmas season is upon us.
At confusing times like these, why not try to learn from the wisdom offered by the great philosophers of the modern era – our beloved television friends? What lessons might Inspector Gadget and Skeletor have to teach us about things holiday stress, the spirit of the season?
Fortunately, in these modern times, there's a hella-lot of these vids. online... Let's take a look at a few:
Christmas Comes to PacLand - Part 1:
(Alas, parts 2 and 3 were removed, so there's only the first part to savor.)
"It's a good thing my list is computerized or I'd never get the job done on time!" - Santa
Lesson: while Santa is delivering "subtle" pro-computer propaganda he also makes a good point. Particularly at very busy times like the holidays, lists can help us reign in the chaos.
Rubik, The Amazing Cube
Rubik's First Christmas - Clip (1983)
Melodramatic Lisa is whining about presents being gone (stolen?) and how it's the "worst Christmas of our lives". Just when you think the lesson is going to be "Christmas isn't about presents; it's about love," the image of presents, appears in her tear. Her crying saved Christmas!
Lesson: If you need to vent, or cry, every so often, go ahead. You may feel better afterward. (But don't expect presents. Those are probably, like, symbolic gifts for our purposes. Getting presents for crying would not be healthy.)
He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special (1985)
(The rest of the special is posted here.)
"A season of love, caring, joy? Yecch! What a disgusting idea! Well, there's no Christmas spirit here!" - Skeletor
Yet he not only can't bring himself to leave a puppy to die in the snow, he carries the dog away himself. He sees the dog shivering, and looks in his eyes, and can't abandon him. Some supervillain!
Lessons: Much like the flu, Christmas spirit is infectious. (Oh, and get your flu shot if you're a good candidate for it.) Michael Vick is more of a villain than Skeletor. People can be surprising in their capacity for evil, but the opposite is true as well... any time of year. And we should try to look for that spirit of kindness and, uh, be infected by it, year-round. Awww. Also, continuing the infection theme, Skeletor reported feeling odd after acting kind, so be aware that if you aren't used to being nice, you may feel odd and disoriented afterward. If you usually feel that way, you may feel oriented after being nice. Weird.
Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas (1992)
"You put a dog collar on Santa?" - Penny
Lesson: Keep stress under control so you don't reach a point where you'll feel like lashing out.
My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas (2005)
I-can-only-suspend-my-disbelief-so-much-moment: (spoiler alert!) When one of the talking horses tells the other talking horses that Minty the talking horse has taken a hot air balloon. Excuse me? I'm supposed to believe that a miniature horse has gone on a hot air balloon ride? I think that's just a bit much!
Lesson: (spoiler alert!) the tiny horse seemed pretty panicky after they did that, so perhaps the lesson is, hey, don't try to solve your problems with a hot air balloon (or by running away in any sort of balloon-aided device); you'll only go freaking yourself out, not to mention the impact upon your... community.