Friday, December 20, 2013

A Charlie Brown Christmas

From "A Charlie Brown Christmas"  ABC, fair use claimed.  

Greetings All:

It's the Friday night before Christmas.  We're taking a bit of a pause from the holiday/Christmas stuff and are hanging out at home.  Tomorrow (in theory) will be a day for finishing the tree and various house domestic stuff, but tonight we're hanging out.  We ended up watching, hands down, my favorite Christmas animated show, "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

It came out in 1965 and remember being a little kid loving seeing it.  Those of you about my age will remember that Dolly Madison snack cakes sponsored it.  It was a minor tragedy when you missed seeing it because back in the dark ages, you either saw it live or it was gone forever, or until the next year.  I don't remember when, I think college, when the tyranny of the network schedule was broken, and I purchased the VHS copy.  That was replaced by a DVD and now its likely available on live screening.  Even though it is almost a half-century old, it is still timeless fun.

Of course, there is a serious message in it.  That message is a rejection of the commercialization of Christmas.  Linus recites the Gospel of Luke, 2:8-14, under a spotlight:

"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 good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, 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."

Linus walks off stage, saying to Charlie Brown, "That's the meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown."

He is right.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the show.  Sure, its animation is rudimentary.  That adds to its charm.  And the music, Vince Guaraldi jazz music is about as Christmas as you can get.  George Winston has paid tribute to Guaraldi and that makes perfect sense to me.

The show is great and its something perfect to watch with your family.  I'm guessing there people who saw it as kids, watched it with their kids and now their grandkids.  That's a good thing.  The older I get, the more of a premium I put on spending time with the people who matter in my life.  When I spent the evening watching the show with my family it was the practical meaning of Christmas that Linus referenced.

I hope you can carve out some time this season to watch this show, ideally with people who matter to you.  It's a great way to celebrate the season, and the meaning of it.

Be well my friends,


A Charlie Brown Christmas is available from Amazon and here's a link (So ABC, please don't sue me for posting the photo):

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