Tag Archives: A Charlie Brown Christmas

At last

It’s finally time to be serious. For nearly a month now, I have complained and laughed nervously about the madness that are the weeks leading up to Christmas.

It happens every year. I push myself past the limits to get everything done, to get everything just right. I complain about what the Christmas Season (Advent, really) has become, and then I fall right into it.

When Christmas—real Christmas—really settles in for me is at about four o’clock Christmas Eve, when I am sitting in church, quietly soaking up the peaceful music. I will have spent the day as a manic madwoman, yelling at everyone to get showered and out the door. I’ve been a monster. It’s my tradition.

It’s at four o’clock that I finally contemplate the wonder of what Christians have been celebrating for thousands of years. I think about peace. I feel the love of those around me. I’ve been known to doze for a moment.

Sometimes I think about Linus as he so calmly and thoughtfully answers Charlie Brown’s desperate question: “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus says, “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” I haven’t watched Linus’ recitation yet and not gotten choked up.

To those who observe Christmas, Christians and non-Christians alike, may you find meaning and hope in the holiday, peace in the celebration and rest from the madness of the past few weeks.

I’ll be taking a break from blogging tomorrow and Sunday. See you on Monday.


Filed under Holidays, Movies, Television and Radio

Film festivus

Guess what? We just got a new VCR. I’m very excited.

Yes, you read it correctly. VCR, as in video cassette recorder; perhaps you’ve heard of it.

I don’t watch many video cassette tapes, but my husband does. He buys cases of used classics and sits down very deliberately to watch them. So when our machine melted down recently, we put in a rush order.

About 99 percent of our Christmas movies are on VHS and I do like to watch those. Apparently all the good holiday specials were shown right after Thanksgiving. I missed every last of them when they aired on regular TV.

As Grinchy as I am this time of year, I rely on my Christmas favorites to lift my spirits and get me in the mood.

I like to kick things off with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and then watch it again two weeks later, when things start to get tense around here; it helps me keep my sense of humor.

I listen to White Christmas while I’m putting the icicles on the tree and, if no one’s looking, I dance a few steps along with Vera-Ellen. I always wanted to dance like she did.

Last Saturday, The Washington Post ran a list of its readers’ top-ranked holiday-themed movies and TV specials. How the Grinch Stole Christmas came in first, while a movie I’ve never heard of—Emmett Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, came in 20th.

All the popular classics are there, the ones you’d expect, but it was a bit disappointing for me to see many of our family’s holiday musts absent from the list.

When our son gets into town, he’ll be wanting to crank up the VCR for such video treats as Casper’s First Christmas, Jingle All the Way (see it for no other reason than a hilarious performance by the late Phil Hartman) and Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean. Take my advice and pull any one of these out of the bargain bin the next time you’re out. That is, if you still have a VCR.

Of course, A Charlie Brown Christmas is my favorite serious holiday movie. Between Vince Guaraldi’s piano soundtrack and Linus’ recitation of the Christmas story, it’s all I need. What movie or television special must you see every year?


Filed under Family and Friends, Holidays, Movies, Television and Radio, Uncategorized