Monday, December 6, 2021

For Unto You

 By: Joanne Viola


Our world and society has been changing so rapidly the last few years. Certain words have been changed or deleted from our calendars and schedules. Salutations have been reworded to avoid created offense to some.

It brought back to memory one lice from a familiar Christmas special when the poignant question is asked:

“Isn’t there anybody who can tell me what Christmas is all about?”

One of the special memories of Christmas past was when my children and I would snuggle under the covers on my bed, settle in and watch Christmas specials. It never matter whether it was Frosty, or Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer, or Charlie Brown Christmas. It was always a special time.

How can we ever forget Charlie Brown? The little, depressed boy who is in search of the true meaning of Christmas. We even call the small, straggly Christmas tree on the lot, “The Charlie Brown Tree” and we all know what than means.

But it is his haunting question about the true meaning of Christmas which we all remember most.

Thankfully, his little friend, Linus answers:

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
(Luke 2:11, KJV)

Did you know that this line almost did not make it into the program?

“The executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke; the network orthodoxy of the time assumed that viewers would not want to sit through passages of the King James Version of the Bible. A story reported on the Whoopi Goldberg-hosted version of the making of the program stated that Charles Schulz was adamant about keeping this scene in, remarking, “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”


And you know what happened when it aired just the way that Charles Schulz created it?

“To the surprise of the executives, it was both a critical and commercial hit. None of the special’s technical problems detracted from the show’s appeal; to the contrary, it is thought that these so-called quirks, along with several other choices, are what lent the show such an innovative, authentic and sincere feeling. For instance, Linus’s recitation was hailed by critics such as Harriet Van Horne of the New York World-Telegram who said, “Linus’ reading of the story of the Nativity was, quite simply, the dramatic highlight of the season.”


May we remember and hold onto the true meaning of Christmas. May we always remember the courage of Charles Schulz as he asked:

“If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”


Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash



1 comment:

  1. I had heard that recently--that Linus's recitation of the biblical Christmas story almost wasn't allowed. I am so glad Mr. Schulz stood his ground.


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