Christmas movie season is in full force. Over the past several years, we’ve lost a classic in the mix. Whether it be through Freeform’s (formerly ABC Family) 25 Days of Christmas, a TBS or NBC special, or more commonly the streaming specials on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, it’s of interesting note that A Charlie Brown Christmas is hard to come by. Why?
Most Christmas movies follow a common theme. Christmas is too commercial and we need to turn back to the root of understanding that this is not what the holiday is about. It’s about being happy and having cheer, being generous and spending time with family.
My favorite Christmas movie, Ron Howard’s – or maybe better known as Jim Carrey’s – How the Grinch Stole Christmas sums up this basic plot:
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”
The grouchy hermit gets his act together because someone showed him kindness. It’s done over and over again. But Charlie Brown is a little different.
A Charlie Brown Christmas starts with the premise that Christmas is not supposed to be commercialized. All of the kids know that. Most of them are happy to simply be with each other rehearsing a Christmas play, taking a break from school and being in a generous and cheery spirit. For all intents and purposes, Charlie Brown starts where most Christmas movies end yet Charlie Brown himself is facing a Christmas conundrum.
Charlie Brown is puzzled because he’s not happy. After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Isn’t the spirit that everyone is in supposed to make him innately happy? Well, not exactly. The paradigm shift of Charlie Brown’s uneasy feelings occurs when he exasperatingly begs the question, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Another character, Linus, provides the answer.
The answer is found in Luke 2:10-11. “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. That’s what we’re missing in our Christmas movies. Am I pointing out this fact to start a culture war along the same lines of asserting that you should be offended when someone tells you “Happy Holidays” or writes out “Merry Xmas” or how Starbucks is a ‘devil company’ because their Christmas cups are now solid red and therefore not representative enough of Christ? No.
I submit to you this instead: Christmas is not the only time a dying world has lost the point. Live every day leading up to, during and after Christmas with that understanding. Never forget that the world needs to know a Savior has come. If you’ve lost sight of or have never heard that message yourself, I tell you rejoice – a Savior has come and his name is Christ the Lord.