What today really is all about!
Christmas Day is for me more of a day of thanksgiving than Thanksgiving Day. I reflect on the many blessings that have been bestowed on me today more than any other day of the year.
If I didn’t open one present this Christmas morning, I would still be just as happy. My joy is in receiving the presence of family, not presents from family.
One of my favorite shows growing up was A Charlie Brown Christmas. It focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Charles Schulz’ masterpiece summed it all up in the words that Linus spoke.
“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 so(re) 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.’
“And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
Linus Van Pelt, A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965 (TV Special)
This simple recitation of scripture from a small boy trying to focus the attention of his classmates on the true perspective and proper reflection of the celebration of Christmas sets an example for all of us this week.
Even in 1965, Mr. Schulz was highly encouraged to abandon such a strong anti-commercialistic statement as well as the direct Biblical references that Linus recites. When pushing back on his direction for the movie, he is quoted as saying: “If we don't do it, who will,” to Director Bill Melendez.
I’m glad that Mr. Schulz stuck with his original intent and kept Linus’ speech. Even Linus, who was never separated from his security blanket, drops it as he “fears not” anymore.
Even with 50 years of Linus imploring us to remember, fewer of us pay heed to the “reason for the season.” Regrettably, there seems to be no stopping the further secularization of Christmas.
Remember, it all started in a simple town, with two amazing people on an amazing journey, to a simple birthplace. A simple woman and a simple man brought into this world our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This man – the Son of God – has influenced the world like no other. He has spread a message of love and forgiveness that has been adopted by billions of followers since His birth. He has influenced the world through His teachings and wisdom framed by His heavenly Father.