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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Charlie Brown's Christmas and Relationships

 By either viewing on TV or reading the book, "A Charlie Brown's Christmas" is a yearly holiday tradition in many households.  The message we hear all through Advent is that the true meaning of Christmas is Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.  We really do try to focus on that but it can be difficult with the materialistic aspect of the season so evident all around us.  
Some people just go with the flow and really enjoy all the hoopla of the expenses, preparations, family gatherings and all the other demands not normally consuming our time.  Other people are annoyed and just want to skip it altogether. 
Kenya McCullun, a free lance writer for the Examiner, put some thought into the interactions amongst the Peanut gang. Bothered by the greed and self-centered attitude he observes around him, Charlie Brown's holiday spirit is dampened and depressed.  He feels very alone with his thoughts that something is just wrong about it all, so seeks the advice of Linus who puts everything in perspective as he quotes the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke retelling the Christmas story.
By observing the Peanuts' gang, Kenya makes note of five lessons of human behavior and how influential they are within our personal relationships.

1.  Not everyone has a special someone or a family hub where everyone returns on holidays. Christmas can be a very lonely time and we shouldn't just assume the people we see everyday have special plans.  Charlie Brown is part of the gang but he feels so alone.  It often takes the holidays to realize that we are truly blessed if we have family or at least one friend who stands apart from the many acquaintances.  Facebook sends that point home very clearly.

 2.  Charlie Brown thinks since he feels so alone and 'different', then something must be wrong with him.  In turning to Lucy for psychiatric advice, he comes to the conclusion that his problem is that he is afraid of everything.  Interesting is that once we can put a label on something supposedly wrong with us it becomes a legitimate condition.

3.  Polite conversation is not always what it appears.  Sally writes a beautiful letter to Santa and opens up by asking about him before addressing the true purpose of her letter.  From the time we first take our children to see Santa and the conversation centers on what they want, I suppose we are setting the stage for 'what's in it for me' rather than the true spirit of giving. 

4.  Lucy certainly doesn't have a problem with self-confidence.  She is positive with her good looks she'll have no problem getting the part of the Christmas Queen in the school play.  When she states the obvious to Charlie Brown he doesn't catch on to this ageless game women play in fishing for compliments. Finding him clueless, her quick temper jumps all over him.

5.  In his search for the perfect Christmas tree for the school play, Charlie Brown takes pity on the sad little tree ignored by everyone else.  Able to relate to what it feels like to be the underdog, Charlie Brown takes that little tree home.  It is neat that he has the gumption to stand up to his friends knowing how they were going to ridicule him and his sense of taste.  But in his wisdom, Charlie Brown knows that everything has its good points and all it needs is love to thrive. 

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