The Spirit of Christmas

One of my favorite shows growing up was Home Improvement. I still watch reruns whenever I find them on. And while critics complained that Tim Allen’s new show Last Man Standing took the Home Improvement premise and just swapped out three sons for three daughters, I saw it as a good thing, and the similarities to Home Improvement have kept me watching since Episode 1 (albeit online later in the week instead of when it airs in prime time).

This is a short clip from the Christmas episode of Last Man Standing, which aired on December 6th. The eldest daughter of Tim Allen’s character has a 2-1/2-year-old son, whom she bore out of wedlock and whose father deserted them. In this episode, the boy’s father, Ryan, returns, and, as you can imagine, gets a less than cordial welcome from Tim Allen’s character. In this clip, his youngest daughter challenges him on the difference between his attitude and what they learn in church. It’s obviously meant to be funny, and Tim Allen’s character says earlier in the episode that he goes to church just to hedge his bets so it’s not like he’s a believer. But I still think it should make us stop and think.

What disparities are there between my actions and attitudes and what I will teach my family through the Christmas story this season? Do I show the love and forgiveness that Jesus showed me through his incarnation? Or is my family getting the impression that the daughter in Last Man Standing got, that I force them to go to church and learn about something that I don’t believe in enough to live out?

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