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. 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. Fifty-two years have not diluted the show’s message.
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 good will 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. Christmas, it turns out, does indeed mean a little 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 speech? There are subtle messages and lessons awaiting us in that simple action and demonstration of faith, too.
As Ebineezer Scrooge even came to realize in the end — “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year!”
Peace, Good Will, Kindness, Generosity, Charity, Compassion, Empathy, Love — none of these are or should be exclusive or seasonal things, as we 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.
Thank You for visiting and spending part of your day with us. 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!)
“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” – Peg Bracken
“Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.” – Helen Steiner Rice
“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
“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