Our family will be stirring in the kitchen—the twins will be making their school lunches, and I’ll be in the middle of my bleary-eyed coffee-making ritual—and in the dreariness of that morning moment, my son Justin will suddenly belt out in a loud and chipper voice, “I’m singing! I’m singing! I’m in a store and I’m singing….!”
Around my house this time of year, the one movie that gets quoted more than any other is “Elf.” Starring James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel, and a surprisingly PG-rated Will Ferrell in the title role, the movie exudes elfin charm, wide-eyed innocence, and more than a knowing wink-and-nod to the traditional Christmas classics. Besides “Napoleon Dynamite,” it may be the most quotable movie ever. My kids and I will randomly throw out quotes at each other over dinner, during chores, even while playing Madden.
One of the things I like about the movie is that there is this clumsy and naive, yet unrestrained moral anchor that underpins the central character. In contrast to the soiled and unsafe world of New York City, Buddy the Elf’s morality seems quaint and old-fashioned, but ultimately—and in Hollywood fashion—wins everyone over in the end.
Imbedded in the “Elf” movie quotes we toss at one another are small but significant truths. And though unstated, they are gentle reminders that real meaning is found in the accumulation of the small moments and actions of our lives.
So, in the spirit of the season, I thought it would be fun to share them with you. Merry Christmas everyone! [Note: If you haven’t seen the movie, this entire blog won’t make a bit of sense to you. Go out immediately and rent the movie.]
Movie Quote: “It’s just nice to meet another human that shares my affinity for elf culture.”
Moral: Appreciate the people around you.
Movie Quote: “You did it! Congratulations! World’s best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody!”
Moral: It is always important to compliment others.
Movie Quote: “Francisco! That’s fun to say! Francisco. Fran-cis-cooo.”
Moral: Take the time to find fun in the mundane.
Movie Quote: “Hello! Buddy the Elf! What’s your favorite color?”
Moral: When possible, invite others to have fun too.
Movie Quote: “I think you’re really beautiful, and I feel really warm when I’m around you, and my tongue swells up.”
Moral: Be honest with your feelings.
Movie Quote: “You stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don’t smell like Santa.”
Moral: When something is wrong, have the courage to speak up about it.
Movie Quote: “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup.”
Quote: “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”
Moral: Fully enter into the Advent season. Worship fully, love selflessly, and be in awe of God’s miraculous Act of Grace.