Nightmare Before Christmas

or Profound truths from a spooky film

I was thinking the other day about strange Christmas traditions, and one (of the many!) that our family has is watching Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas."

I know at first glance it just seems weird, especially if you've never seen it. But being the over-analyzer that I am, I've thought a lot about this movie and its meaning.

If you are unfamiliar with it, the basic story is that there are different worlds that each holiday originates from. Jack Skellington is the disheartened Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, and he has lost his passion for things. He goes wandering around and discovers a secret part of the forest that has entrances into each holiday, and he stumbles into Christmas. He ends up coming back to Halloweentown, excited and revitalized by this new magical world that he's discovered, and he tries to transform Halloweentown into a sort of warped Christmas.

There's more to the story, but you really need to see it to get all the nuances.

One of the main things that I love about this movie, is my ability to relate to Jack's struggle. One of my favorite parts of the movie is found in this short song:

But something's hidden through a door
Though I do not have the key
Something's there I cannot see
What does it mean?
What does it mean?
What does it mean?
I've read these Christmas books so many times
I know the stories and I know the rhymes
I know the Christmas carols all by heart
My skull's so full, it's tearing me apart
As often as I've read them, something's wrong
So hard to put my bony finger on
Or perhaps it's really not as deep
As I've been led to think
Am I trying much too hard?
Of course! I've been too close to see
The answer's right in front of me
It's simple really, very clear
Like music drifting in the air
Invisible, but everywhere
just because I cannot see it
Doesn't mean I can't believe it

Oh Jack, how I can so relate to you! I've got all the Bible stories memorized, the hymns I could sing in my sleep... I do try much too hard, and the answer is so simple.

It's nothing to do with me. It's "simple really, very clear, like music drifting in the air." I cannot do anything on my own; only Jesus can. And just because I cannot see Him, doesn't mean I can't believe Him.

Profound truths from a spooky film? Heck yes.

Something I've been discovering lately, and loving, is that since God created us and knows the inner workings of our hearts, He loves delivering His truths to us in ways that resonate with us. We are studying Esther in my youth girls Sunday School class, and I was telling them a few weeks ago that Esther is written much like a fairy tale, or folk tale. How cool that God would deliver a story to young women that is written in a way that reaches them. He could've told it in straight facts or some boring way, but instead He uses a style of writing that He knows appeals to them.

So cool. I love seeing His hand in the details.


  1. Wow! You're so right V. I've never thought about that in respect to that movie but it reminds me of John Piper talking about all things in life generally and The Lord of the Rings specifically, about how God uses all things in life to glorify himself. It's so amazing how He speaks to us! THanks for this post.

  2. love that movie, but it's "too scary" for my kid. he's very sensitive to anything "scary".. ah.. to share such fun movies with him- someday. :)


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