The Cartwright Crew is Prepped and Ready to Land!
I have fond memories of Christmas specials when I was a kid. They created so much Christmas magic. There was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Clause Is Coming to Town, and many more. To be honest with you, though, to my knowledge, no one in my family has watched even one of those aforementioned shows this Christmas season. Which tells me the fondness in my memories is probably more rooted in the actual event of gathering together as a family and watching than what we were actually watching.
Case and point, earlier this week the five of us (yes, Fritz, that's you coming in at number 5) piled together on one bed to watch two modern day Christmas specials: Toy Story That Time Forgot and Shrek the Halls. What both of these specials dreadfully lacked in entertainment value they made up for in the excuse they gave us to cram a hundred square feet of bodies on fifty square feet of bed. For a visual, imagine the last time you played Twister.
Tonight is round two. Only tonight, there will be entertainment value!! (I'm wildly waving my "I Love Disney" sign in my office right now).
At 8PM tonight on ABC, we'll be tuned into Disney's Prep and Landing. (I promise I own zero stock in either ABC or Walt Disney). This special first aired in 2009, and has been a big Cartwright Crew hit ever since. Or, at least it's a big hit with me and my Notre Dame-football-like enthusiasm for the show has pressured everyone else into going along with this sentiment. Katie and I actually exchanged text messages yesterday planning the food we'll be devouring during this year's Prep and Landing party. (It will likely have to be finger food since there's room for little else in our viewing arrangement).
Prep and Landing isn't one of the television stories of my youth, mainly because it doesn't involve stick figures and crackling audio. But somewhat surprisingly, within Prep and Landing's computer animation and flashing lights and Dolby surround sound stereo, there's a message as powerful as many of those holiday classics.
In brief, the story is about an Elf named Wayne. He's worked over 200 years at the same job, prepping houses for Santa to land and deliver presents to children. During the particular Christmas of this show, Wayne is passed over for a promotion. Like many of us when we miss out on a chance for advancement in our careers, he was disappointed. Through the events that play out during the special, though, Wayne discovers that by looking at the job he already has a little differently, he'll find it more fulfilling than he's ever experienced before.
Have you ever noticed how many kids specials have messages target adults?
How many of us get caught in that rut where we link career success to the number of promotions we get or the size of our paycheck. It's an easy hole to fall into. To find the real meaning in our jobs, the real opportunity to impact the world, we often have to adopt a humble spirit that our culture makes us think twice about inviting into our lives.
But isn't that one of the most powerful messages of Christmas. A King who could have paraded to the earth accompanied by the highest of profiles and a paycheck that would have made Warren Buffet envious arrived as a baby. In that one opening chapter of the Christmas story he put on the robe of humbleness and tossed aside corporate jets and bling-coated body guards. I often wonder if that chapter isn't meant to be the most important one. Maybe the answer to so much we struggle with, as individuals and as a society, is found in putting on a robe of humbleness.
I don't know. It's a thought. But I know this. When Wayne puts on his robe tonight, the Cartwright Crew will be watching.
To read previous posts in this Christmas 2015 series, click below: