Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Ostracized by his family and friends because of his freakish red nose, Rudolph the reindeer runs away to the Island of Misfit Toys. While there, he learns about the Unwritten Order of Things and realizes that even though Santa’s secret Reindeer Handbook explicitly says that nose color doesn’t matter when reindeer are chosen to pull his sleigh on Christmas Eve, what this actually means is that nose color conformity is absolutely essential. Armed with this knowledge, Rudolph decides to undergo a painful operation to permanently change the color of his nose. He is welcomed with open hooves when he returns to his family and friends, and he secures a coveted spot on Santa’s reindeer team.
A Christmas Carol
The less active miser Ebenezer Scrooge has little use for Christmas, so he flies into a rage when first his home teachers, and later his nephew come by his counting house on Christmas Eve to wish him a merry Christmas and to invite him to tithing settlement. Later that night, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his long-dead business partner, Jacob Marley. Marley warns Scrooge that he will be punished in the next life if he doesn’t stop ripping people off with the MLM scheme they jointly founded. After Marley departs, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts: Holy, Holier, and Holiest. The ghosts show Scrooge what awaits him in the next life should he end up in the Telestial, Terrestrial, or Celestial Kingdom. Thoroughly frightened, Scrooge turns his life around the next day, celebrating Christmas with his nephew’s family, and catching up on all his back tithing by giving a hefty sum to the ward. Within a year, he is the ward’s bishop, and within a decade, he is telling the story of his life’s dramatic turnaround from the pulpit in General Conference.
A Christmas Story
In a small town in Indiana, a prepubescent boy named Ralph wishes for nothing for Christmas but a an official Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. He hopes to use it to defend The Family, as well as to help him complete his orienteering merit badge when he’s a little older (as it has a compass in the stock, and a thing which tells time). Unfortunately, his mother, his school teacher, and later Santa Claus all warn him that he shouldn’t get it because “harm or accident will befall your eye.” Fortunately for Ralph, his father is on his side and gets him the gun. His first shot ricochets and knocks his glasses off, and he then accidentally steps on and crushes them. Luckily, his mother isn’t angry, but is only concerned for his safety, calling his lack of injury a “tender mercy.” As Ralph the adult looks back on his childhood, he calls the gun the best present he ever received, even though he never did get to use it to defend The Family. (Subplots include the following. A pair of bullies repeatedly torment Ralph and his friends until Ralph finally gets angry and pins one of them down and clocks him over the head with his scriptures. Ralph’s father has an ongoing fight with the family’s balky furnace while calling it things like a “motherfetching piece of shiz,” Ralph saves up UPC codes from his Friend magazine and sends them away for a sacred decoder ring, which he uses to decode a hidden message in a later issue of the Friend. He is disappointed when the message just says “Remember who you are,” a saying he already hears from his parents all the time. Ralph’s father wins a “major award,” which turns out to be a huge Angel Moroni lamp, which he wants to put in the front window, but which his mother objects to because it looks tacky. She later “accidentally” breaks it. Ralph gets punished for saying “frack” when he drops the lug nuts while helping his father change a tire.)
It’s a Wonderful Life
On Christmas Eve, small-town bishop George Bailey is distraught at having lost $8,000 that was supposed to be deposited in the Orderville Falls 1st Ward’s United Order account. Fearful that he’ll be suspected of embezzlement, he considers killing himself. An angel appears and shows him a vision of an alternate timeline in which he was never born. In this timeline, he isn’t there as a 12-year-old there to save his brother Harry from falling through the ice in a frozen pond, so Harry never serves a mission. He isn’t there to stop a friend from accidentally poisoning the sacrament bread when they are teachers. He isn’t there to marry Mary, and he sees her suffering through an endless series of dreary single adult dances. And old Henry Potter, rather than being the second counselor in the Sunday School Presidency, becomes the bishop, dissolves the United Order, and starts siphoning off tithing into his own personal slush fund. Heartened by this vision, George goes to his family and friends, gives several related but contradictory accounts of it, and tells them he has lost the money and that he expects to be arrested. They quickly raise the money to make up for what George has lost, and Potter is found to be embezzling and gets excommunicated.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Grinch is an unhappy non-member living on the outskirts of the Whoville 1st Ward. He is constantly irritated with the members of the ward, particularly when they invite him to their “neighborhood” parties in not-so-subtle attempts to get him to come to their church. Finally reaching a breaking point after receiving too many invitations to the ward Christmas party, the Grinch breaks into all the ward members’ houses while they are at the party and makes off with all their food storage, as he knows how important it is to them. He takes it up a nearby mountain, intending to throw it off, but he listens first to try to hear the mourning of the ward members when they discover their food storage missing. He is puzzled when he hears instead shouts of joy, as ward members, who weren’t that enthusiastic about food storage anyway, find themselves relieved to have it taken from them. Intrigued, the Grinch comes down from the mountain and accepts an invitation to dine with the bishop’s family. And at dinner, he, even the Grinch, carves the funeral potatoes.
Frosty the Moisture Man
Once there was a snowman named Frosty, tall tall tall. A group of schoolchildren use a magician’s magic hat to bring him to life. He immediately begins to melt in the sun, though, so the children determine that they must take him to the North Pole, where he can always stay cold and Santa can care for him. They begin their journey as the magician chases them, trying to retrieve his hat. The children are heartbroken when Frosty melts before they can get very far. Santa shows up, convinces the magician to let the children keep the hat, and comforts them by telling them that Frosty will be reborn whenever someone prays for moisture.
Miracle on 34th Street
A young girl named Susan is skeptical about the existence of Mrs. Claus. A kindly department store Santa tries to convince her that Mrs. Claus is real. She tells him that she still doubts it, and he recommends that she doubt her doubts. Concerned about how much her daughter is invested in the question, Susan’s mother takes her to the bishop. The bishop tells Susan that yes, reason dictates that there must be a Mrs. Claus, but that she is “too sacred to talk about,” and that Santa is keeping her existence hidden from the world so that the children don’t all pester her for presents. Susan agrees to keep the existence of Mrs. Claus a secret, but the bishop reminds her that Mrs. Claus is in fact sacred, but not secret. Still unconvinced, Susan begins to write letters to Mrs. Claus every Christmas rather than Santa, and she finds no difference in her Christmas toy haul compared with her peers who write to Santa.