A Charlie Brown Christmas is my favorite Christmas television program. Hands down.
It may be because it is older than me (1965) but has assumed the status of a classic. I am not ready to be a classic. And not qualified probably. But it has stood the test of time and still airs during prime time on a major network.
It may be because it reminds me of my childhood. I remember watching it at home when I was young and then again with my children when they were younger. They aren’t as interested any more… some day perhaps they will watch it with their children.
It may be because it deals so frankly with the over-commercialization of Christmas, the hype that is even more overpowering than in 1965.
Truthfully I know why it is my favorite. I tend to over-think things – and sometimes under-execute. I sometimes lose myself in nostalgia and forget to shape my present. I can all too easily be led astray by some of the aspects of the commercial culture that informs so much of 2012 Christmas in America. And as a pastor, Christmas can make demands on me that leave me overwhelmed and even resentful.
For all of these reasons, I need to be reminded of Linus’ simple words to Charlie Brown – “That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.” Which is preceded by these familiar words –
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
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.” (Luke 2:8-14 KJV)
Yes, that’s what Christmas is all about Randy Clark.