Charlie Brown Simplicity
“I’m not going to let any commercialism ruin my Christmas!” Charlie Brown
My favorite Christmas show has always been the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. I remember every year when I was growing up waiting for previews of it to see what night it was going to be on T.V. We didn’t have DVRs back then, so if you missed it when it was on, you had to wait another year! I made sure I NEVER missed it!
I love Charlie Brown. I can sort of relate to him. Christmas comes and he just feels kind of lost at first! He can’t figure out what Christmas is all about. But thanks to Linus, he does find out in the end. His search takes him through his feelings of being lost, depressed and confused.
Lucy complains that she gets the same old stuff every year, but what she really wants is “real estate!” I love that. She’s a kid who knows what she wants. She just doesn’t know how to get it.
Schroeder is content just playing Christmas carols until Lucy comes along and can’t hear the beauty in what he’s playing. He has to pound out the most simple version of Jingle Bells for her to be able to really hear it. Here he is, a gifted musician, who seems to be feeling misunderstood.
Snoopy is content just getting fed, sleeping on his dog house, dancing to Schroder’s music and making all of the animal sounds for the Christmas play. He lives the life of a well-loved dog. He reminds me of my dog! 🙂
And then there is Linus. The wisest one of all. He seems a little surprised by Charlie Brown’s depression, but he also understands it. He sticks by his best friend as he goes out to search for the perfect Christmas tree. He counsels Charlie Brown not to get the one he wants to get, but then he says he never did think it was a bad little tree; “all it really needs is a little love.” Linus is one of the greatest examples of loving those whom most people avoid, make fun of or just decide they don’t like without even giving the person a chance. I don’t know what was in Charles Schultz’s mind when he wrote this script, but I do know he was a Christian. The love of God and our fellowman is all throughout his comics. He had a beautiful heart, and the most lovely part of his heart and belief comes through when Linus steps out on the stage and says, “Lights, please.” Then he tells Charlie Brown the story of Christmas (in King James language, no less!)
“And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold. I bring you good 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, good will toward men.”
Then Linus walks off the stage and simply says, “And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
Posted on December 11, 2013, in Art Talk. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
“I don’t have any friends. Why do we have to have a holiday to emphasize it?”
My wife and I often speak of the days when “if you missed it when it was on you had to wait a whole year!” There’s just something missing now with on-demand, DVD, DVR instant-anytime viewing.
This also applies to one of my favorites, Dr.Suess’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (the animation with Boris Karloff, not the movie with Jim Carrey)
The Grinch is dumbfounded that the Whos sing with glad hearts on Christmas Day, with “no presents at all.”
“It came without ribbons,
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes
Then he thought of something he hadn’t before.
Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store.
Perhaps Christmas means a little bit more.
We would actually call other people when a show was on to make sure they didn’t miss it! They were year-round—
Frosty’s New Year, Happy Easter Charlie Brown, It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
I’m forgetting more than I’m remembering!
Thanks for the trip to childhoodland!
Yep, I remember the days when I had to find out when a special was going to be on. The anticipation of waiting for it to come on was always exciting.
You’re welcome for the trip to childhood, Paz.
Thanks for reading!
Such wonderful sweetness in this-I love it too.
Thank you, Elena! I appreciate that.
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