Lessons of Christmas
How many of you remember and look forward to watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” cartoon every year? This cartoon animation is the work of the Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz. It first aired in 1965 and is a must-watch show for those that celebrate the Christmas season. It is a message of anti-commercialism along with good will towards man.
There is a famous scene in which one of the characters named Linus gives his “True Meaning of Christmas” speech. It is the speech that is meant to steer all of us back towards what Christmas is truly about. But interestingly enough, this particular scene was nearly cut from the final release. You see, Charles Schulz was a religious man and according to his biography, “the life of Jesus remained for him a consuming subject.”
So in the early stages of production, he wanted the script to feature some religious overtones. In particular, he wanted a passage from the St. Luke gospel about the birth of Jesus Christ. Schulz wanted to bring that meaning to the Christmas holiday. It was a meaning that many times get lost in the mayhem and excitement of the day.
The producers agreed to include a Nativity scene, but when the script was finished, the animation director realized he had included an entire minute-long speech directly from the New Testament. this led to a huge argument between Schulz and the producers. They argued that the cartoon was an “entertainment show” and the speech would scare off advertisers by narrowing its audience. Schulz argued that it should remain as it was central to the story line.
Charles Schulz fought for what he believed in and this iconic speech survived being cut from the show. The “speech” remained part of the original CBS special and it became the second-most watched show of the week when it debuted on December 9, 1965. This story has aired every year since.
You know, there are many things that are worth standing up for in our lives. Charles Schulz believed in something that has resulted in millions of children and adults hearing this message each and every year since 1965. It reminds us that even one person can impact many others with their actions of belief.
You are a pebble dropped in the water which creates the waves that wash a seashell upon the shore for someone else to find. You make a difference simply by standing up for what you believe in.
And without more said, here are the words from Linus, spoken not only to Charlie Brown, but to millions of us.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
A very merry Christmas to you, your family and friends!