One of the special memories of Christmas past is of my children and I, snuggled under the covers on my bed, all settled in to watch Christmas specials. Whether it was Frosty, or Rudolph, The Red Nose Reindeer or Charlie Brown Christmas never mattered. It was always a special time. Today, however, I am remembering Charlie Brown.
How can we ever forget Charlie Brown? The little, depressed boy in search of the true meaning of Christmas? Even the small, straggly Christmas tree on the lot has earned the name, “The Charlie Brown Tree” and we all know what than means.
But I think the most telling part is when he asks the question:
“Isn’t there anybody who can tell me what Christmas is all about?”
Thankfully, his little friend, Linus answers:
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.”
Did you know the line almost did not make it into the program?
The executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke; the network orthodoxy of the time assumed that viewers would not want to sit through passages of the King James Version of the Bible. A story reported on the Whoopi Goldberg-hosted version of the making of the program stated that Charles Schulz was adamant about keeping this scene in, remarking, “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”
And you know what happened when it aired just the way Charles Schulz created it?
To the surprise of the executives, it was both a critical and commercial hit. None of the special’s technical problems detracted from the show’s appeal; to the contrary, it is thought that these so-called quirks, along with several other choices, are what lent the show such an innovative, authentic and sincere feeling. For instance, Linus’s recitation was hailed by critics such as Harriet Van Horne of the New York World-Telegram who said, “Linus’ reading of the story of the Nativity was, quite simply, the dramatic highlight of the season.”
(Both quotes taken from Wikipedia.com).
Linus knew and shared the reason for celebration.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
(Luke 2:11 KJV).
Today I am remembering the courage of Charles Schulz and the true meaning of Christmas.