I'm not a Christmas kinda person...I mean what Christmas has become I should say. People, even with good intentions have tried to make it WAY more complex than what it is. By attaching all of their monikers, slogans, ideas and method on how to celebrate Christmas, it becomes way more complicated than it was initially intended.
October 19th is one of my brothers' birthday. Never has that date rolled around that I don't call him, see him or maybe have a piece of cake with him to celebrate his life....and that's it. I don't decorate the house, put up lights, give my sister, nieces, nephews and parents a gift, cook for 40 people, take time off work and act "nicer" to people everytime his birthday rolls around.
Christmas is Christ's birthday and never has that day rolled around (that I can remember) that I don't say happy birthday to him and thank him for coming to earth. Everything else is well...EXTRA. Yup, everything...gifts, family, decor, vacation, plays and TV specials are all just extra. They are not what Christmas is about. Sure you can use that time to see and visit with family, but nothing is wrong with also doing that on March the 3rd, September 8th, July 26th etc. You can spend the holiday making your house look extra special and put up a tree, buy gifts for everyone, give a special offering and take time off work but you'll still miss it, if you are not careful. Snow is pretty, parades are fun, sales are incredible, and time off is great, but none of those encompass the true meaning of Christmas.
That's why I adore "A Charlie Brown Christmas". There are many stories and shows that emphasize the "Spirit of Christmas" Such as "giving"...(and usually its to someone in dire need), "Family" (seeing family members that you don't want to deal with or that you didn't know existed) or "Worldly"(the Santa Claus, Rudolph, Frosty) stories. But none quite tackle the one true meaning of Christmas outside of an actual Nativity better than this show. Its simplictic answer to Charlie Brown's question "Is there anybody here that knows what Christmas is all about?" puts Christmas in its proper place. Linus answers him simply by telling him " I do, Charlie Brown.... and begins to say simply from the Word of God....
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
and that's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown...and to all of you. Keep it simple. Tell Christ Happy Birthday, have a piece of cake..and enjoy. Our slogan for this Christmas was taken from our Bishop's last sermon (and we'll loan it to you if you'd like)..."Its' all about Him".