Thanks to my husband Brett for his major contribution to this wonderful post!
Does all the commercialization of Christmas have you down? Well! I am here to offer you one remedy for family and friends. Amid the avalanche of TV Christmas specials that hit our screens this time of year; there is one little gem that always stands out from the rest. It is a simple, unpretentious cartoon that is several decades old, however, it still manages to earn great ratings and has been loved by many generations.
I am guessing this is no coincidence. Out of all the the Christmas specials claiming to us about “The True Meaning of Christmas,” this little cartoon is the one that everyone remembers and watches over and over again…The one that gets the true meaning.
I am referring to A Charlie Brown Christmas. There is so much to recommend about this show; not least of which is the gentle skewering of the commercialism that surrounds our modern ideas of Christmas. Oddly enough, commercialism has gotten progressively worse since A Charlie Brown Christmas was fist produced in 1965. This charming cartoon has become more and more relevant every year. There is hardly a viewer who cannot identify with Charlie Brown’s feelings that, somewhere in all the hype and advertising, the true meaning of Christmas has been lost.
Sadly there are more anti-consumerist messages out there every Christmas. A Charlie Brown Christmas does not just critique the commercialism; it offers something to counter it…something real and significant. Most other TV specials leave us with the thoughts that the True Meaning of Christmas is family, or giving, or kindness etc. Although these concepts are wonderful and admirable in themselves, they totally miss the mark.
In simple, sincere, but utterly effective fashion, A Charlie Brown Christmas gives us the Pure and True Meaning of Christmas when the famous Peanuts character, Linus, recites the Glorious Nativity passage from the Gospel of Luke. It is not heavy-handed…it is not an altar call…it is not sentimental or sappy in the least. It is a straight forward sharing of the Gospel, as a direct response to the emptiness, frustration and despair from all the commercialism that is out there.It demonstrates TRUE HOPE to the hopeless; not just at this time of year…All Year Round! It is a beautiful example of the Power of Christ to infiltrate and transform culture.
This Christmas I have a wonderful idea for you and your family. Why not pop some popcorn, or bake some cookies, and invite your friends and neighbors over to watch it. If you search the channels, it always airs during the Christmas Season. You can also rent or purchase the DVD. It is available at many retailers, as well as online. What better way to begin to share Christ with those around you…plus give them a nostalgic, enjoyable and no-pressure experience! If the viewing opens the door to a serious conversation about Christmas and It’s True Meaning…everyone will be blessed. However it turns out; your family, friends and neighbors will have learned the True Meaning of Christmas…An all-too-rare experience during the Christmas Season these days.
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON! That is the only TRUE reason to celebrate.