Some people don’t get it…


I put a picture of our Christmas tree up as my profile picture on Facebook. Some people don’t get it. Call it a “rhapsody in red.” Call it a “scrawny, little branch.” Call it what you will, it’s my Christmas tribute this year: a real life version of the Christmas tree from one of my two favorite Christmas programs – the cartoon feature A Charlie Brown Christmas (the other is the film A Christmas Story).

Christmas doesn’t really happen for me until I hear that Vince Guaraldi soundtrack and that opening exchange between Charlie Brown and Linus:


Charlie Brown and Linus stop at a wall on their trip to the pond for ice skating…

Charlie Brown: I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. [begins to walk with Linus again] I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.
Linus: Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy’s right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.

 A Charlie Brown Christmas is a metaphor for my life at Christmas – the guy who wonders through one of the greatest seasons of the year kind of depressed. It started a long time ago, and before I go on, let me assure you, the celebration of our Savior’s birth is the source of great joy for me. And that’s what the cartoon does for me; remind me of the true meaning of Christmas.


Charlie Brown and Linus return to the gang (gathered to put on a Christmas play) completing their assignment to go out and buy a great big, wonderful Christmas tree, to help everyone get into the meaning of Christmas. They are met with the following exchange:

Charlie Brown and Linus return with the puny little tree…
Violet: Boy, are you stupid, Charlie Brown.
Patty: What kind of a tree is that?
Lucy: You were supposed to get a “good” tree. Can’t you even tell a good tree from a poor tree?
Violet: I told you he’d goof it up. He isn’t the kind you can depend on to do anything right.
Patty: You’re hopeless, Charlie Brown.
Frieda: Completely hopeless.
Charlie Brown: [upset] Rats!
Lucy: You’ve been dumb before, Charlie Brown, but this time, you really did it.
[pause; then everyone bursts out laughing]

Perplexed and down cast Charlie Brown cries out for someone that knows what Christmas is all about:

Linus: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
[moves toward the center of the stage] Lights, please. [a spotlight shines on 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 picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown] That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.


Luke 2:8-14. That’s what it’s all about. Not the tree, but the child, born in a manger, announced by angels, worshipped by shepherds.

2010 has been a rough year around our house. This little tree is our Christmas tree this year, and I think it’s perfect. Because, as in the cartoon, when you see the simplicity of the little tree, the glory and spirit of the season can truly shine through. Some people don’t get it. And some people won’t get it. But it works fine in our home this year.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!


And Merry Christmas to all of you.

God Bless & Grace 2U,



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