You’ll get the title of my blog if you have seen two Christmas movies that deserve coal in their stockings! Yes, I am talking about Christmas with the Kranks starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis and Jingle All the Way with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad. Although different movies, their theme is the same: being selfish is okay, and they deserve to be on the naughty list!
You might be a fan of the Krank’s one because of the ending and feeling it has some redeeming value. I disagree and here’s why. In the Krank’s movie, Allen and Curtis play parents to a daughter Blair (Julie Gonzalo), who departs for a Peace Corps assignment in Peru the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
She’s clearly old enough for college, but the mom acts like she is four years old. Blair may be in her 20s but has zero emotional intelligence. The move tells the story of how they decide to skip Christmas and go on a cruise. Call me crazy, but if parents want to do that, they should. My parents had many a dream and never got to do any of them because they both died young. Our parents job is to raise us to be mature adults who create our own lives.
I get irritated at the whole concept of being shamed for doing something out of the norm…like they should babysit their child for the rest of their lives. Then I get really upset when the day before they set sail, their daughter – who found a guy instead of doing mission work – decides to come home after all. She is expecting everything, and her parents drop their plans to please the daughter. Let’s call it what it is: dysfunctional and co-dependent! No consideration of others! No regard at all or thanks for all her parents have done for her. Nope. It’s all about her, and the entire neighborhood chips into make it happen.
They try to make it seem like this is all okay, and it isn’t. THIS is why we have adults not showing up for work and going to lunch and never coming back. They were never taught how to think of others…how to keep a commitment…how to be highly functioning adults. They are spoiled brats, just like Blair. I’m generalizing, of course, but we are in serious trouble folks. Companies know it, just ask them.
Then there is Jingle All the Way that is about a father who did not honor his word…again. How is that funny? Because he didn’t do as promised, he spends his entire Christmas Eve trying to find the gift his son wants. He isn’t with his family, and he isn’t being thoughtful. He’s a jerk! The worst part of the movie is that everything turns out alright in the end, giving people the idea that they can screw around and somehow it will be fine. It’s not, and that’s the lie.
Procrastination hurts everyone around you. You can keep deceiving yourself and think it doesn’t, but it does. Your emergency becomes someone else’s, and frankly as someone who is organized, I’m tired of your messes. Honoring your obligations is just respectful. Again, when you break those promises, you hurt those you love deeply. You also create discord in the workplace because someone else has to pick up your slack.
Trust is easily broken and very difficult to restore. When you say you will do something and don’t, how can they trust you ever again? Why would they? Expecting everyone to bend to your every desire is beyond selfish, and parents are to blame. They have given too much and tolerated rude, ungrateful behavior in return. The good news is many of these behaviors can be improved through increased emotional intelligence, but movies like these encourage more bad behavior.
This Christmas, let’s make a commitment to be better. Let’s not procrastinate or ghost people. Let’s honor appointments, show respect, and think of others. Maybe the gift of a coaching package is in order to help you (or someone you love) be better in all your relationships? I’m happy to help so that you don’t end up on the naughty list and get coal in your stocking.