Day 6: Gifted
Merry Christmas! This wonderful season of joy is upon us again, and even though where I live there is no snow or even winter, it’s still my favorite time of the year. Once again, I wanted to write a 12 Days of Anime Christmas post on a video game. It’s not easy to find one though, as few games incorporate much of these festivities in their gameplay.
I did remember a certain area in Kingdom Hearts II called Christmas Town, though. For those that have not played this game, you play as hero Sora, who travels across various Disney worlds to stop the evil Heartless. They consume the hearts of people and transform what is left into dark monsters that rampage all over. Wielding the mighty Keyblade, you put an end to their wickedness and save the day. I am not going to get deep into the main story, but I will divulge more of a particular section that pertains to Christmas.
When Sora and his friends, Donald and Goofy, arrive at the world of Nightmare Before Christmas (yes, the same movie) they find Jack Skellington has discovered a place that is full of enchantment and wonder. Sora is excited and jumps through the Christmas tree door attached to a tree that leads to Christmas Town, which is exactly what you would imagine with a name like that.
The town contains the home of Santa Claus, who Jack calls “Sandy Claws.” He looks just like the fabled figure, and he’s not happy to see Jack since he caused some mischief the last time they met. There are some rumblings happening in the town, so Sora and the gang go to investigate.
Of course, the Heartless have overrun the area so they need to be dealt with. In the meantime, Maleficient (the same villain from the movie Sleeping Beauty) has arrived to get rid of the heroes and Jack Skellington with the help of the trio of mischievous children from Nightmare Before Christmas. She revives Oogie Boogie, Jack’s nemesis, who was defeated in the previous game by Sora.
Fighting various enemies and a mini-boss gets you to the battle with Oogie, who has kidnapped Santa Claus. You rescue him, stomp out Oogie, and save Christmas! It’s a pretty short chapter of Kingdom Hearts II, but there’s a lesson that can be gleaned from it.
Jack Skellington wanted to help Christmas by dressing up as Santa before you leave the world, but Mr. Claus decided against it. He told Jack to stick to what he does best, which is scaring children on Halloween. He agreed and went on his merry way.
I was a little perplexed in how to capture something beneficial from the last conversation between Jack and Santa, but one thing did come to mind. Staying in our lane is very important to be successful in life. Our talents, gifts, and expertise should be sharpened and refined, not put aside to focus on something that we are not very good at.
If you are someone who is great at baking cakes, for example, start learning about how you can become a better baker and maybe even make it a business! Why would you start frying chicken or doing barbeque when you make delicious cakes? If you want to do those things, that’s alright, but you should recognize that baking is your strength and where your talents lie.
Struggling with knowing what we are good at can be difficult, and sometimes we feel we aren’t good at anything! it’s not true though, for a few reasons. You may be comparing your novice skill with someone who has already spent decades honing their craft. Another could be negative comments about how you’re not as good as this other person, and you believed the lie. One more could just be that you haven’t realized it, even though you are actually talented!
The lesson that Santa Claus was telling Jack was that he’s not made for running Christmas Town. Jack is the Pumpkin King, and he’s amazing at bringing fright into children’s lives. If they were to switch jobs, both would not be done with the excellence that they are normally done with.
Stick to your strengths, and don’t focus on your weaknesses. Grow what you know God has gifted you to do, take a class, read books, listen to podcasts, whatever you need to do to get better. He will give you the wisdom to get past your obstacles.
Watch the video below to see what happened in Christmas town! I recommend skipping the fight scenes.