A Charlie Brown Christmas: 50 years of Joy and Hope: By Katie Kennon

Charlie_Brown_Xmas_tree

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Who would have guessed the “War on Christmas” existed 50 years ago?

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’ now a classic Christmas tradition, is celebrating 50 years of charming audiences. It is hard to believe this beloved Christmas special was originally thought to be a failure by the executive producer, director, and the CBS network, who thought the show would not work as a children’s Christmas program. One main concern was that Linus’ reading from the Bible might turn people off. Hmm… that’s interesting considering the fact that the title of the show is ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’ and Linus’ speech is the definition of Christmas.

charlie-brown-christmasFortunately, Peanuts’ creator Charles Schulz insisted on leaving that scene in the TV show. ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ was a hit, and almost 50% of all TV-owning families tuned in to watch it that first night of airing in 1965. To the great surprise of the executives of the show, viewers and critics alike had nothing but praise. The show became so popular that it has been broadcasted every year since. That is quite an accomplishment, especially considering that these days our country seems to spend more and more effort on a war against Christmas.

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ is a much-needed respite from the increasing secularism of the country. It reminds us that, even in this crazy world, it is possible for some things, like the 50-year-old message of the Peanuts gang, will always remain the same. Yes, giving and receiving are also part of the Christmas season. It is not a crime to look forward to shopping and finding deals, baking cookies and putting decorations up. But, in the midst of all this, we cannot forget why we are doing all these things. It is because we are celebrating the birth of baby Jesus.

Just like Charles Schulz, we should make sure we convey the true meaning of Christmas because the message of the Gospel is one we all need to hear.

“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, goodwill toward men.'” (Luke 2:8-14 KJV)

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