Thinking Out Loud

December 24, 2015

What Christmas is All About

Filed under: Christianity, Jesus — Tags: , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:27 am

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Charlie Brown Christmas special. You probably have more of it memorized than you realize.

Christians often focus on the lines from Luke’s gospel spoken by Linus, but might find it harder to remember what it is that sparks those lines. Charlie Brown has just endured much mockery for picking the smallest tree from the Christmas tree lot. Various characters tell him:

Boy, are you stupid, Charlie Brown.
What kind of a tree is that?
You were supposed to get a good tree. Can’t you even tell a good tree from a poor tree?
I told you he’d goof it up. He’s not the kind you can depend on to do anything right.
You’re hopeless, Charlie Brown.
Completely hopeless.
You’ve been dumb before, Charlie Brown, but this time you really did it.

Dejected, Charlie replies,

I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn’t have picked this little tree.
Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don’t know what Christmas is all about.
Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

This leads to the text we’re more familiar with; but it’s easy to miss Charlie’s question, and I focus on it today because I think that more and more it’s the question people are asking, especially in a society with declining Biblical literacy and increased historical revisionism.

Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

Answer: We do! We carry that story in our heads and in our hearts, and need to speak it on our lips.

We know the account not as just a story, but as a reality that sees us through the tough times, gives us hope in the middle of sadness, and causes us to want to give, because God gave his Son.  We see the incarnation as the dividing line in history, and also the gateway to the day our atonement was made complete at the cross. We see it as the beginning of a new day: God with us.

We are Linus.

We know what Christmas is all about.



Read a history of the popular Christmas special at this link.



  1. Merry Christmas! We do carry Jesus in our hearts

    Comment by angie — December 24, 2015 @ 12:23 pm

  2. Just pointed out to me:
    Linus: “and the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not…'”
    At the words, ‘Fear not,’ Linus tosses his blanket.

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — December 24, 2015 @ 9:00 pm

  3. After all these decades, I got to watch this episode again.
    I loved it!
    Great insight on the “Fear Not” quote….

    Comment by kenzelsfire — January 3, 2016 @ 12:16 pm

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