A Christmas Staple

I like simple, tasteful decorations.  I enjoy real trees.  I am a firm believer of one present on christmas eve then in the morning it goes stockings=>breakfast=>presents.  My favorite thing though about christmas is watching “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown.” 

I cam across a couple of articles this morning on DeadspinOne proclaiming the evilness of the 1/2 hour special and another stating the positives.

I encourage you to read both articles and then come back to mine.

I’ll admit, I am a true lover of the Peanuts and Charles Schultz.  While not always the funniest of the comics, it was always poignent.  Somehow, Schultz was able to take any trouble in the world, turn it around to a child’s perspective and make you rethink the gravity of it.  Strips as simple as “Happiness is a warm puppy”  really says a lot when you take time to think about it.

I think that’s what makes ‘Merry Christmas..” so iconic and relevant even today.  What lessons do these modern-day cartoon christmas specials teach?  what relevance do they have?  They don’t hold a candle to the Grinch, Rudolph or the granddaddy of them all, the Peanuts.

While the writer of the first article proclaims it to be depressing I look at it as a kid just trying to figure things out.  Charlie Brown is just searching for meaning in a crazy world.  He holds out as the one true, honest and naive souls left in his little world.  He is so genuine and sincere that his friends can’t see it through the thick smog of the christmas hype.  His tree symbolizes that entirely.  With a little sentiment and a little love, the tree transforms into a true symbol of the season but it needed Charlie Brown to turn his friends to see that.  While some look at Charlie Brown as a simple blockhead, I see him as a complex individual with basic wants.  He just wants to know if there is good in the world and how he can make it a better place.  Really shouldn’t that be what we all want?

I’m not even a religious person, in fact I don’t believe in the whole theory of religion but the scene with Linus is one of my favorite of all time.  The simplicity of it is what makes it so good.  Here’s a little kid, just seven or so, breaking down what many people tend to forget: Christmas is a time for giving, sharing and spending times with loved ones.  Whether you are christian or not, sometimes we tend to forget those things. 

This year, I was able to sit down and watch it with my 2 1/2 year old daughter.  She knew who Snoopy was (she has two stuffed Snoopy dolls, one of them mine from when I was a kid.)  She absolutely loved it.  In fact she wants to see it every day now.  Of course, she doesn’t grasp the whole concept of the show.  She loves the music, the dancing and when Snoopy says “Blah” but I think she also understands the importance of it. 

I think the writer of “Fuck You Charlie Brown” misses the whole point of the show, and frankly that is sad.  While one can look at it as being depressing, I tend to look at it as an uplifting and inspiring story that shows that man (children) can still find good in the world, even if it as simple as a tree. 

If that doesn’t get you in the mood, then I sure hope the music does.  Still the best christmas music there is.  If this can’t get a smile on your face, then there is no hope for you. 

Enjoy your Christmas weekend!!!




One Response to “A Christmas Staple”

  1. Drew Magary, the writer who hates A Charlie Brown Christmas (I believe in giving credit where credit is due), might have held my attention if he offered real arguments rather than repeated expletives. If he dislikes the show so much he should be able to express this inteligently without continuously reverting to WTF.

    I stopped reading closely about half way through … only scanned the rest of his article. A closer read was not worth my time.

    However, I love your take on the program. Well stated.

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