Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown

What does Christmas mean to me? It means the birth of our Lord on the earth. It doesn't mean Santa Claus, it doesn't mean Rudolph, it doesn't mean the North Pole, it doesn't mean getting presents, none of that. I do nothing to reinforce fables. I don't like the Santa Claus thing because it shifts the focus of the real meaning of Christmas. If Santa was portrayed as saying that he's only a symbol of Christmas, but Jesus is the reason for the season, I'd be more on board with the concept, but he doesn't, so I'm not. I don't want to be the 'Grinch that stole Christmas' by any means, mind you--I just want the focus to return to Whom it rightfully belongs!

You know what Christmas TV Special I admire? 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'. Charles M. Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts strip, had the guts to go up against the liberals running CBS, and he managed to get his way. He stated in his argument for the special, "If we don't tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?" He showed his Christianity and wisdom in his argument. In the special, Linus quoted the King James version of Luke, Chapter 2:

"'8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"

THAT is the true meaning of Christmas, right there!

'A Charlie Brown Christmas' was a hit. The half-hour special first aired on Thursday, December 9, 1965, and has become a Christmas TV staple ever since. The resonant chrystal purity and innocence of Linus's recital still chokes me up today.

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