I adore Christmas...but I am all about not starting the celebration too early. I don't shop during Thanksgiving week and I avoid anything that even resembles a shopping area the entire weekend after Thanksgiving. This year, as is our tradition, we were camping over the Thanksgiving break and it was a much needed break. Tonight, however, perhaps the greatest animated Christmas show of all time was on, The Charlie Brown Christmas show. I have to say that it is FABULOUS! Jacob wanted to watch it (yippee!) so we did. I love it when all the kids are dancing on stage -- it's great. I love the sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree. The show first aired in 1965! 1965 -- the year after I was born, for heaven's sake. Johnny and I were talking about it and all the characters and Jacob asked how we knew so much about it. Because we've watched it for 40 years, that's why!! The best part, the very best part, is when Charlie Brown is so frustrated about all the commercialism surrounding Christmas (and the 60's didn't have anything on what's going on in 2007) that he screams out -- wanting to know if ANYONE knows what Christmas is all about. Linus knows...and they still show it on tv and it's still as powerful as ever:
"...And she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn..." Luke 2:7
Linus actually quotes several more verses than that, but when he is done he says to Charlie Brown, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
How did our eyes become so unfocused? I like to decorate my house even though I am not much of a decorator. I like to buy gifts and love to see the faces of my family when the gifts are received. I like the parties and being with friends to celebrate. I like the tradition and the food and even the smells associated with Christmas. I like it all but that's not what it is all about...
It's about the Incarnation. It's about the Son putting on the cloak of humanity in order to reveal the Father to mankind. It's about the Holy One leaving His rightful place beside the throne of God to become the Lamb of sacrifice.
The Charlie Brown Christmas show still moves me, after all these years. It's not Charlie's story, though, even though really I like his sad little tree and I always cheer for him to be a winner when I know Lucy is going to pull the ball out every time. It's the story of the Messiah that gets me everytime.
That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown/Jeanette Dickerson/your name