There’s a good reason why nearly all classic Christmas tales rely on an element of fantasy, for, literarily at least, Christmas is a time of miracles.

~ Publishers Weekly[1]

10-23-09 @ Mark Strozier, courtesy of iStockphoto

John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas is the suspense writer’s venture into the comic holiday genre. Christopher Columbus produced the 2004 film Christmas with the Kranks by adapting the author’s plot.

Grisham provides a clever storyline of the Kranks who forgo the usual Christmas expenditures to save for a Caribbean cruise instead. They anger and alienate everyone in their community by their non-festive attitudes. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the couple has to change their ways hurriedly. The neighbors they had shunned just days before come to their rescue as the Kranks rediscover the Christmas spirit.

The book sold over 1.5 million copies, and millions more watched the movie version. Still, Publishers Weekly observed that the book lacked the magic we’ve come to expect in our Christmas classics.

  • The best-loved tales possess a magic element.

Elf. It’s a Wonderful Life. The Polar Express. Miracle on 34th Street.

When it comes to Christmas, we don’t want mundane. We want awe. We want Wow! We desire that Christmas miracle because the first one possessed a supernatural touch.

  • What would the first Christmas be without magic?

We’re not talking about the Magi here or the dark arts. Although the common name we use for these pilgrims has the same etymology as magic, these wise men were more scientists than charlatans, more students of prophecy than illusionists. What they did required no sleight of hand, just the turning of pages in books left to them by their predecessors.

This special caste studied the ancient writings of those before them. Daniel was one of these Magi in his day. These men who sought the Christ Child were part of his legacy.

  • The Christmas miracle was essential to Jesus’ claim as the Messiah.

And who could blame these Magi? Their pressing desire was to see a miracle greater than any known on 34th Street. It was no Elfin magic that brought Jesus to this earth. His was a Life full of wonder.

Virgin-born. Son of God. One who existed before Creation, who had come as ImmanuelGod with us.

These students of Bible prophecy wouldn’t have skipped that first Christmas for a moment.


In what ways have we lost that wonder that God came to save us?