Mr. Krueger’s Christmas is perhaps the weirdest film that I watch during the Christmas season, and it is the weirdest because it is the only one I watch that actually has anything to do with Christ. You know, that man that Christmas is named after? Anyway, released in 1980 and starring James Stewart, it is the the story of Willy Krueger, who is the lonely custodian of the apartment building where he lives. He spends his time fantasizing about being wealthy and conducting the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. As he is thus fantasizing, some carolers pass by his apartment and he invites them in says he’ll make them some “chocolate”, by which I assume he means hot chocolate. Well after they leave he gets to thinking about how much he loves Jesus, and daydreams about visiting the baby Jesus at the manger. Later he is invited by the carolers to sing with them and have turkey dinner. At this point he gets very excited. And as he puts his hat on, before leaving with them, the expression on his face is priceless.
There’s really quite a bit more to the story than the brief description that I gave, and being that this movie is only thirty minutes long, you do learn quite a bit about Willy Krueger’s life. This is one of the few Christmas features I watch that mentions the Bible story, in fact there is only one more that I can think of, the rest are about Santa or other holiday traditions. For me that’s fine. For believers, Christ should have a place every day, not just during Christmas. Still, I guess it’s good to have at least a few shows that remind us of the reason why Christmas was celebrated to begin with. Frankly I like the commercialism of Christmas, it is a way to invite all people, no matter what they believe, to celebrate together. They may be celebrating for different reasons, but they are doing it together, nonetheless.
I mentioned in my synopsis of the film that Mr. Krueger offers to make the carolers some “chocolate”. Now, I’ve never heard anyone refer to hot cocoa as simply “chocolate”, but I thought that was the funniest term to describe the beverage. So one time I said to one of my friends, “Do you want me to make you some chocolate?” He said, “What?” I replied, “you want some chocolate?” Then he said, “What are you talking about?” And I said, “In Mr. Krueger’s Christmas Mr. Krueger offers some carolers some “chocolate” by which he means hot chocolate.” My friend then described the film as “a washed out actor in the dumbest Christmas movie ever made”, then said that, sure, he’d like some “chocolate”. I subsequently made him a mug of hot cocoa. It has been a running joke since then that “chocolate” is hot cocoa.
Well that pretty much sums up my memories of the film, and remember this, if you are ever at my house during winter feel free to ask for some “chocolate”.