Learning lessons from childhood cartoonsPublished 6:00am Saturday, December 24, 2011
Every year at Christmas my husband and I have a long list of movies that absolutely must be watched before the holiday season is over.
Some of the movies are from my childhood like “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and two little hokey cartoons from the 1930s that my brother and I ALWAYS watched called “Somewhere in Dreamland,” and “Christmas Comes But Once a Year.” (If you haven’t seen those two, do yourself a favor and search for them on YouTube.)
Other movies are ones that my husband grew up watching like “Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which, oddly enough, I had never seen until I started dating David five years ago.
The rest of the movies are ones we’ve come to love as a couple like “Elf,” “A Christmas Story,” “Home Alone,” and “Christmas Vacation.”
Every year we find time in our busy schedules to sit down and watch these movies — or most of them, anyway — and as fun as these movies are to watch, the focus is usually on presents or trees or some other trivial aspect of the season.
Even the ones that have a strong emphasis on family or being grateful for the things you have don’t fully express what Christmas is really about.
However, there’s one movie that truly hits the nail on the head about where our focus should be this Christmas season, and that’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” where blanket-toting Linus lays it out plain and simple for viewers who have enjoyed the holiday flick for the past 46 years:
Charlie Brown: Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
Linus: “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 unto 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.’”
Linus: That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Such a simple moment in TV history, yet it was such a profound moment of pure honesty about the true reason for the season – the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
To be honest, I’m surprised the poor show still airs on TV in this time of extreme political correctness where people pitch fits about singing Christmas carols, but I’m glad it does.
In the midst of all the tinsel and presents and other holiday festivities, I hope a new generation of children are sitting down to watch this classic holiday movie as generations of people have before them, and my prayer is that some seeds of truth will be planted in their young minds so that they will grow up knowing the true meaning of this special holiday.