After sitting through horrendous traffic last night, I was relieved to finally be home and discover that A Charlie Brown Christmas was on TV. Curled up on my couch with a glass of wine and the glow from my Christmas tree illuminating the room, I enjoyed the holiday classic. As we all know, the movie features the beloved Peanuts character Charlie Brown and his quest to find the true meaning of Christmas. In the beginning, he wonders why he becomes depressed around this time of year. He soon becomes involved with the Christmas play and in the end discovers the spirit of the holiday, with help from Linus who gives a monologue on the birth of Jesus.
The story touches on how commercialized Christmas has become, which devastatingly interferes with the spirit and meaning of this special time of year. Developed in 1965, if commercialism was bad then, think of now. The general public has strayed away from the art of Giving and mastered Taking. To be true to the holiday season we should remember to keep things at a balance. Receiving is always exciting, but giving back warms the soul.
Growing up, my dad would always pick a Charlie Brown tree for our home. I could charge his choice up to the fact that he waits until two days before Christmas to get one, but I prefer to believe that he really meant it when he said "It's important to pick the Charlie Brown tree. It just needs some decoration and attention and then it will be perfect." My dad is someone who has never been caught up in the new gadgets, toys and the "I want's" of the season, but simply enjoys to be around the people he cares about - he understands what's important.
With that, I hope that each and every one of us can stop at some point this holiday season and say "good grief" to commercialism and do something that makes yourself and someone else feel extra special.