Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Holiday Season to everyone!
Some writer friends and I are taking a few minutes this month, some to recall treasured holiday memories and traditions, and others to take a look back at the writing year soon coming to a close. I invite you to check out their thoughts later, listed at the end of this post.
For me, the morning of December 9th, 1965 found me one week away from my 16th birthday, approaching nearly not fast enough at the time, as you may well imagine — The Big 16!
That evening featured the debut of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on the CBS television network, based on my favorite comic strip “Peanuts” by creator Charles Schulz. The show remains a much-anticipated classic and delight each holiday season for millions of viewers to this day and an annual highlight of my family’s Christmastime.
I honestly do not believe that Charles Shulz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip, ever envisioned the impact this simply created little show would have over time. Nevertheless, over fifty years of continuous broadcasts and changing times have not diluted or diminished the show’s impactful messages.
While there are many discussion themes running thru the story, the most poignant for me has always been Linus’s speech on stage, responding to a frustrated Charlie Brown’s question of — “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!?”
At this time of year, trying to keep our wits about us while navigating thru and around all the hustle and bustle of crowded malls, traffic, grocery shopping, cookie exchanges, decorating, children’s school plays and activities, holiday parties, family pictures and greeting cards, boxes, packages, wrappings, and bows, all while trying to out-maneuver porch pirates from swiping online deliveries, do you ever find yourself wondering the same question — “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
Sometimes we simply need to pause, taking a moment to catch our breath, and reflect.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” — Dr. Seuss
As one of my sometimes forgetful uncles used to say years ago — “I don’t need to be told, but I do occasionally need to be reminded.”
In reply to his friend Charlie Brown, Linus took the stage to remind us all —
“Lights, please . . . .”
“And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid.
“And the angel said unto them — “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
“And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and goodwill toward men.”
And that is what Christmas is all about. For Charlie Brown. For Linus, Lucy, and Snoopy. For us all. The reason for the season, as they say.
Not to be found in a store, Christmas it turns out, does indeed mean a goodly bit more.
Linus is famously noted for carrying around his trusted security blanket with him wherever he goes. Held tightly fast and never let go lest panic ensues. Have you ever noticed that at the point when Linus repeats the words of the angel “Fear not!” that the blanket is suddenly on the floor beside him, confidently lain aside until he once again retrieves it at the end of the presentation?
There are subtle messages and lessons to be found in Linus’ simple action and demonstration of faith for us all this Christmas Season.
Peace, Good Will, Kindness, Generosity, Charity, Compassion, Empathy, Love — none of these are or should be exclusive or seasonal things, as each of us should truly keep them in our hearts throughout the year.
The Christmas Season is an annual reminder of how we should be always, for everyone and all things in this miraculous and beautiful world we all share and call home. Sometimes we do not need to be told, but occasionally do need to be reminded.
Thru the inspiration of Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts”, Charlie Brown and Linus remind us of the real meaning of the Christmas Season each year.
Thank You for visiting with us! In a period when it seems so much and so many seek to divide us, perhaps the Christmas Season is a time when we can all set aside differences for a while, come together in the spirit of the season, and just perhaps, realize that in coming together, like Charlie Brown’s little Christmas tree, that those things are really not so divisive and bad, after all.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and Holiday Season!
A simple act of kindness or encouraging word can change someone’s entire life around. Will you do that for someone today?
In the Spirit of Christmas. — Jim (and Red!) 🤠 🐻
If you grew up with the Coca-Cola Santa image as I did as a baby boomer in the ’50s, you may also enjoy my piece on → “Haddon Sundblom, Coca-Cola and Santa Claus”
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I invite you to please visit with my other writer friends to discover more about their writing year and holiday season thoughts!
Cat Michaels — “My Ups, Downs, and In-Betweens on the 2019 Writing Road”
Rebecca Lyndsey — “December Dreamin’ – Holiday Traditions that Ring in My Season”
Julie Gorges — “Baby Boomer Writer’s Ups, Downs & In-Betweens in 2019”
Rosie Russell — “My Ups, Downs, and In-Betweens on the 2019 Writing Road”
Julie Schooler — “3 Writing Wins and Lessons in 2019”
Sandra Bennett — “December Dreaming – 5 Ways Looking Back Can Help You Look Forward”
“Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.” – Eric Sevareid
“Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.” – Helen Steiner Rice
Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends — “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”
“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” – Washington Irving
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“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” – Dale Evans Rogers