It's Christmas time. A time of giving, family gatherings, and a plethora of Christmas movies and specials. I settled in my recliner Friday evening prepared for the barrage of Christmas cheer, streaming through my TV. I decided to commence the festivities with The Fight Before Christmas, on Apple TV+.
Boy, was I in for a treat!
Having only one faithful reader from Manitoba, I realize writing an open letter on my blog to a neighborhood in northern Idaho is a long shot, but hey, I'm feeling the Christmas spirit, and just maybe a Christmas miracle could happen here. Who knows?
Even though this is a letter to the neighbors of Jeremy and Kristy Morris, and they are fully aware of the events involved, it might be helpful for those who haven't had the pleasure of watching this docu-drama, by Becky Read, to read this quick synopsis from FirstShowing.net:
Twas The Fight Before Christmas follows the story of a North Idaho neighborhood turned upside down by one man's obsession with bringing Christmas cheer to all, through the biggest community Christmas event America has ever seen. Christmas-loving lawyer Jeremy Morris' plan hits a snag when the home owners' association informs him that the event violates the rules of the neighborhood. A contentious fight over the festivities erupts and things snowball out of control.
Or better yet, subscribe to Apple TV+, and experience it for yourselves.
So, back to the neighbors. I watched the evolution of events in this show with both fascination and frustration. And I'll just cut to the chase here, I'm on your side.
Now I'm a big proponent of the idea that there are always two sides to every story. I also believe that a film maker can edit dialog and footage to come out a certain way, or leave out footage to craft a story that really didn't occur. But even if this film was edited to make you look your best, and Jeremy to look his worst, I still think the there was enough evidence that showed Jeremy was manipulating the events to potentially led to the inevitable lawsuit. It seems that lawyers are always the first to consider suing others to get what they want.
That is really what the whole affair felt like, Jeremy getting what he wants. It didn't occur to me until about halfway though the show that I was actually given a clue to the true nature of Jeremy Morris, and his obsession with Christmas. At first I thought, okay he just really likes Christmas. It even felt to me there was genuine joy on his face, when he was going through his storage of Christmas decorations. Then I remembered the scene when they went shopping for a Christmas tree, and Jeremy wanted to get this really big tree, but Kristy was trying to talk him out of it. Then Jeremy said, "If you love me, you'll let me get the big tree."
There it is, the clue that should have told me everything I needed to know about Jeremy Morris. Basically, he gets what he wants; and apparently, do whatever it takes to get it. It's kind of sad really that Jeremy was bullied when he was younger, and essentially has become the bully. This wasn't about standing up for the rights of others, it was just good old fashion bullying.
I am sorry for the stress and conflict Jeremy has brought to your neighborhood. I'm sorry that this whole series of events led to a lawsuit, no matter who the ultimate winner is. But I think the person I'm most sorry for is Kristy. She never got that experience of developing relationships with her neighbors. She didn't get the chance to bake you any cookies.
Here's the point of my letter. I finished watching this film thinking this was the best thing you could have done for your case. This docu-drama really revealed the pressure you were living under the last few years, with Jeremy's Christmas extravaganza, and the threat of litigation if you tried to stop it. I was just so frustrated one man could create so much chaos, and I wanted him to simply move away. "If you can't take the heat, then get out of the kitchen." I think this film will really bring on the heat. I even wondered how many of those people that attended Jeremy's Christmas show, who thought they were combating a "war of Christmas", realized they were simply abetting a bully?
Then I thought of Kristy. She's really the victim of a bully too. Even if she doesn't realize it, because she loves her husband, she is. I think if I were living in West Hayden Estates, I'd bake some cookies, invite Kristy over for a bunco game, and get to know her. There would be only two rules. No talking about the Christmas show, and no talking about the lawsuit.
Could it possibly happen? Can broken fences be mended? Can a relationship develop after all this? Could we truly spread the spirit of Christmas of good will and peace on Earth?
Only one way to find out.
Just your average, self-abused futile worker.