Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Not a holiday season goes by that I don't watch a select handful of Christmas specials. Between now and December 25th I will spotlight a few of them here.
First up:
"A Charlie Brown Christmas" is a perfect foil to the overcommercialization of Christmas, which apparently is just as big a problem today as it was 40 years ago when the show first aired.
There is nothing that I do not love about this special. The Vince Guaraldi soundtrack, the cheap animation and the fact that real kids are used to voice the characters make this special great. However, the scene that makes it timeless is Linus quoting straight from the King James Bible (Luke 2:8-14) which is here:
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 sore 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 Saviour, 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.
You just can't dismiss the integrity, innocence and faith of Linus as he quotes the verses above. No Christmas special before or since has tied Christmas so closely with its religious roots (except "The Little Drummer Boy" which I will discuss in another post) which is a shame. Christmas may not mean the same thing to everyone (religious freedom, anyone?) but it should be about more than blatant commercialism. If you're still not sure what Christmas is really about then sit down with the Peanuts gang and let them explain it to you. You won't be disappointed.
ABC is airing "A Charlie Brown Christmas" Tuesday, December 6th at 8PM.


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