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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Repeat Xmas

Pete's Christmas on IMDb
Merry Christmas

Plot Overview

lit up treefeeling guiltyThe movie opens with a bustling scene of Christmas shoppers in a quaint New England village. It pans across a likeness of Mr & Mrs Santa Claus to switch to a house decoration “wasting electricity on an electric Santa.” Inside are the father Ronald Kidder (Rick Roberts) who is a laid off ad exec, the mother Dr. Pamela Kidder (Molly Parker) a veterinarian, their jock of an eldest son Jake (Wesley Morgan,) their ignorable middle boy Pete (Zachary Gordon,) and their nerdy youngest Kenny (Peter DaCunha.) Their grumpy grandpa (Bruce Dern) will soon arrive, too. Their lives are full of stress, Christmas adds to it, and an electrical failure with an over­loaded tree starts a “cascading series of events” that puts Christmas “in the toilet.”

high ballmischievous boy w/slingChristmas carolersThe next day sees Pete pelted by the neighbor­hood bullies when he steps out his door, helping his team lose the traditional neighborhood foot­ball match, and joining his family in caroling. Grandpa goes home.


Santa plays a traditional though understated role. For that matter he's hard to find in the Bible. Let's look at his origins. Fourth century Christian prelate Saint Nicholas was renowned for his generosity and came to be celebrated throughout Europe. In Holland he was Sint Nikolaas or simply “the good saint,” which in Dutch is Sinterklaas. The British colonists in the New World mis­pro­nounced it: “Santa Claus.” We might under­stand the movie better if we explored this good saint as a derivative of Noah recipient of God's grace.

Santa provisions his sleigh with gifts manufactured by elves at the North Pole. Let's compare Santa's sleigh with Noah's ark. Researcher Mark DeWayne Combs working from Genesis and ancient sources tells us, “we can reasonably propose accurate proportions of the ark to be 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet in height” (27). That would dwarf the men working on it making them seem like little elves. Further­more, “Christ him­self referenced the flood (Matthew 24:39) … that those out­side of Noah's immediate family ‘knew not until the flood came and took them all away.’ … This brings a detail that would impact the choice of location — the absolute necessity of isolation” (Combs 52). In our modern Santa myth, the elves' construction takes place at the supremely isolated North Pole.

Santa's sleigh is pulled by eight reindeer harnessed in pairs. Noah's ark was filled with pairs of exotic animals. (Gen. 7:17) “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth.” Santa's sleigh also flies up above the earth. The ark landed on (Gen. 8:5) “the tops of the mountains”, the roof of the world. The sleigh lands on the rooftops, too.

hearthNext, Santa comes down the chimney to take care of the families on his route. Noah himself collapsed in a drunken heap to deal with the families in turn. Our movie covers one family with three sons in it. (Gen. 9:18-19) “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.” At this point he's to take care of all his three children and the grand­kids, and so cover all the children on earth, not violating any laws of physics.

making a listHere's what happened. (Gen. 9:20-23) “And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the naked­ness of his father, and told his two brethren with­out. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went back­ward, and covered the naked­ness of their father; and their faces were back­ward, and they saw not their father's naked­ness.” The song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” tells us, “He's making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice.” Ham, unlike his two respectful brothers, was the naughty one mocking Noah.

stockingsNoah sorts out his gifts according to his naughty and nice lists. (Gen. 9:24-27) “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son [Ham] had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” Shem and his brother Japheth were a nice pair as were Ham and implicitly his son Canaan a naughty pair.

plowingNoah's father Lamech had (Gen. 5:29) “called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” So after the flood one day, Noah took some leisure time, stripped down in his tent, and got drunk. Mrs Noah being a good wife made her­self scarce while Noah decom­pressed from his day's labor. She went off to visit her youngest son Ham telling him not to bother his father. Disobedient Ham came knocking and discovered Noah plastered. He went and mocked him to his two older brothers (Gen. 9:20-23). Ham was perturbed that his father had gotten naked with­out setting about to procreate as God commanded. He also didn't like his father taking a recess from rebuilding the wrecked world. Noah's rejoinder was along the lines of, “Oy! Vey! You want we should have children and work harder? Okay, your descendants (Canaan) can be slaves to your brothers. Oy! Vey!” (Gen. 9:24-27).

In biblical wisdom terms it's like, (Prov. 30:17) “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.” There's a biblical alternative to mutilation in, (Exodus 21:26) “And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.” Ham's offspring went into servitude rather than his having an eye put out or what­ever. The animals were in pairs, and Noah dealt with two of his sons, Shem and Japheth, as a pair. There is no fourth son to pair with Ham the youngest, so Ham gets paired with his youngest son Canaan who will inherit Ham's deal any­way. The lines of Noah's other two sons Shem and Japheth would be the masters and Ham's line represented here by Canaan would be the slaves. Writer Bodie Hodge holds forth that: “Generally, from the Middle East in the land of Shinar (modern-day Iraq, where Babel was), Japheth's descendants went north toward Europe and Asia, Ham's went toward Africa, and Shem's remained in the Middle East” (183). The servitude of Ham as passing to his youngest son Canaan also encompassed his eldest son Cush, see Gen. 10:6. Cush is Hebrew for black, whose descendants settled in Africa. Canaan is the youngest son of Ham carrying the curse on the whole family by a figure of speech called a synecdoche whereby a part stands for the whole. (Jasher 73:35) “For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.”

This punishment may seem excessive until we look at the one similar incident in the Bible of mocking exposure (of a bald head) concerning the prophet Elisha, (2Kings 2:23-24) “And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.” The kids liked hair rather than baldness; they got a hairy bear. Ham got a better deal than that, servitude rather than destruction. Ham touted hard work and procreation, so his children would be under servitude.

The Canaanites were due for destruction in conflict with Israel, but the Gibeonite branch did a deal with Joshua (Joshua 9:24-27) to have their lives spared in favor of being bond­men, which was more to their liking. A lot of wicked people were wiped out in the Flood, but Ham got the better deal.

snowmanIn “Pete's Christmas” the grandpa had wanted the dad to study law, but he became an ad exec instead, and then he got laid off, but it was only temporary. As Noah showed us some­times a man needs a breather. There was tension in the family, and Pete was a hard kid to shop for, so he didn't get what he wanted. He was cynical about it to his parents, mocking his father, as it were. He'd already been disobedient to his mother the time he ran away from home. Come the morning after Christmas, his eye opens not on another day, but at the same day to live over again … and again and again. He no longer has an eye for a new day. It's only when he sets himself to work at making the Christmas better for every­body that he can fulfill the curse.

Production Values

middle age man” (2013) was directed by Nisha Ganatra. The story credit goes to Peter McKay. The tele­play was written by Gregg Rossen and Brian Sawyer. It stars Zachary Gordon, Molly Parker and Rick Roberts. Its prominent adult actors were Bruce Dern, Molly Parker, and Rick Roberts. The cast was talented and likable.

MPAA rated it PG for some mild language. While grandpa was cast as a grumpy old man, the father was spared any cheap shots at his expense. Even though he was (temporarily) out of work, he received no aspersions to his character—save for grandpa's long standing feud.

dinner decorated tree
WelcomeThe mother is positively saintly. She's festively decorated her home. She cooks a homemade meal for Christmas even though she has to go to work. She'd knitted sweaters for all her brood. She doesn't harp on her husband's short­comings. She treats him with affection. She invites over socially isolated neighbors.

integrated poolOddly at the football game there was a black fan cheering like crazy off by him­self. He didn't have any kids in the game. He was wearing a patch decal so he might have been with the park service. He is reminiscent of a Gospel event. Christ on the way to his crucifixion needed someone to help him carry the cross, so (Matt. 27:32) “as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.” Cyrene a city of northern Africa (modern day Iran) was where dwelt descendants of Ham, one of whom was compelled to involuntary servitude by the Romans, descendants of Japheth, to bear the cross of Christ a Semite. We are fortunate this servitude lasted to then and there.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is a flagrantly derivative but very likeable Christmas TV flick. It's sweet. If it matters to you, baby Jesus was upstaged by Santa Claus, but you can't have it all in a single movie. It's seasonal.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability for children: Suitable for children with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Christmas offering. Suspense: Predictable. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Print. Software.

The Book of Jasher. Trans­lated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print.

Combs, Mark DeWayne. End the Beginning. USA: Splinter in the Mind's Eye Pub., 2014. Print.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.