Abnormally busy city sidewalks are crammed with shoppers shoving other shoppers out of the way on the “rush” home with treasures they could’ve gotten on Amazon.com, but feel compelled to buy locally. And while it’s not true that smile meets smile these days, it is true that on every street corner, above all the bustle, I hear this year’s newly released and tired rearrangements of the same fifteen songs every musical artist has been re-recording for 75 years.
So I got to thinking, with the smell of chestnuts roasting over a street vendor’s coal, that we need a new pop culture holiday tradition. Don’t we all have enough versions of We Wish You A Merry Christmas on our music playback machine of choice to last us the rest of our lives? Really, can anyone want figgy pudding so much that they would refuse to leave a person’s porch/living room until some is brought to them? I mean, how merry of a Christmas can you possibly be wishing me in this scenario?
Here’s what I propose: we replace the annual release of Music Celebrity du Jour’s Christmas record with something that has just as much cultural identity and brand development as those far-out music stars of wonder shining beyond us. Something that always turns a profit, regardless of the quality of the artifact. Something that would at least give us a break from hearing silver bells jingle.
“What is this something?” you ask, your cheeks quivering nervously like a bowl full of jelly thanks to all the pumpkin pie and egg nog you’ve been downing since Thanksgiving?
Pirates of the Caribbean: Mists of the Black Coal Stocking
Captain Jack and crew sail to the North Pole to discover the source of coal filling the world’s Christmas stockings. Along the way, Will and Elizabeth Turner must rescue their young twins from the Isle of Banished Elves, while Jack schemes to find a way to turn coal mists into diamonds and partners with a most unusual sailor of the skies.
War rages endless between man and machine. Weary of the constant loss of life, cyborgical and biological, SkyNet determines there is only one way to bring peace between man and machine. A young orphan, Maria, agrees to be the vessel that will bear the perfect half man/half machine. When word of this deliverer’s birth reaches ears and CPUs, many are threatened by the new world he will bring. But three cyborg generals, and three vagabond resistance guardians, join forces to protect the new hope that has entered their broken world.
AVP: Joyeux Noel
After eons of slaughter and violence cutting across the galaxies, two enemies – separated from their brethren – become unlikely friends as they learn to lean on each other for survival. Inspired by their experience together, Autjr’tyi and Xoktz return to their respective species and tirelessly pursue an unfathomable armistice on Pt’Katix, a holy day of celebration for both worlds.
Indiana Jones and the Star of Wonder
After inscriptions on a rare 1st century vase from the fertile crescent are found – supposedly detailing the falling of an eastern star that had shown brighter in the sky than any in ancient history – Indy and Mutt are dragged into a race against the clock to decipher the remainder of the script and find the location of the fallen star before the evil energy conglomerate Consortio Globus can destroy the treasure: a meteorite, presumed to contain enough mineralogical space radiation to overcome the world’s fossil fuel dependence and bring peace on earth and good will to all.
Sinterklaas and the Planet of the Apes
For thousands of years Kris Kringle has warped time to circumnavigate this planet in one night to deliver good gifts and cheer to all the Earth, but this time, night is bent too far and Santa is hurled to an apparently lifeless, foreign planet. The sleigh’s power of flight lost, and his reindeer scattered, Claus begins the search for a way home and discovers the horrifying reality of this new place. His capture at the hands of an impossible enemy leaves him wondering if he’ll ever escape to be Father Christmas again.
National Treasure: The Tunnel to Korvatunturi
Santa Claus and his North Pole home are the most powerful myths of the modern world. But, what if it is more than a myth? What if the Santa Claus lore is actually a series of clues? Clues to an unfathomable hidden treasure buried beneath Mount Korvatunturi, one of the many rumored locations of Santa’s lair. Ben Gates is determined to find out. He and his band of treasure-hunters embark on twisting, turning adventure to discover the fabled entrance to the Tunnel to Korvatunturi and reclaim the lost treasure of Saint Nicholas.
Star Trek: Epiphany
The United Federation of Planets calls the Enterprise and its crew into action once more. This time the mission is one of peace: to bring a gift to a new race only just discovering warp drive. But when they arrive, they find a most unusual series of events unfolding in the history of this people – events much like those reported to have occurred on Earth millennia ago. A child that some fear and others hope will be their savior has been born. Kirk and crew must confront long abandoned ideas of God and faith to present the gift to its true recipient while the fate of this entire planet hangs in the balance.
The Matrix: Neotivity
Rain pounds the window of Michelle McGahey’s Lower Downtown Capital City apartment. This dark night brings a strange visitor to the door, calling herself “The Oracle.” She tells the young woman that she is pregnant, and that her son will be “The One” and restore order to what she calls “The Matrix.” “You shall name him Thomas Anderson, but his true name will be Neo.” The Oracle leaves behind her a guardian – John Anderson, a servant of The Oracle – to watch over the shocked mother and her unborn son as a husband and father. A word of warning she gives as she departs, “stay hidden, and stay quiet. For, others will come after me who do not seek to protect Neo, but to destroy. In good time all will be revealed. Until then, guard this child.”
Avatar: Blue Christmas (IMAX 3D)
100 years after the Pandora War, peace exists between the Na’vi and humanity. Mankind has long since colonized the Edenic planet and has intermingled life and love with the Na’vi. But some Na’vi fear the loss of their ways as they see the “small man” grab more and more authority over this shared world. A group of young freedom fighters begin to study the culture of their invaders to find the perfect time – a point of great vulnerability – to take back what is rightfully theirs.
How many of the above movies would you go to the theater to see? 1? 4? 8? Won’t you join me in righting the pop-cultural ship we see sailing in on Christmas Day? Together we can usher in a new era of the commercialization of Christmas – an era that will be as timeless as an era can be, in our age of ultimate consumerism.