There was a treasured part of the Christmas season in the long-ago years when I was growing up here at the Manse. If you are of about my age or younger, I fully expect this same thing was also a treasured part of the Christmas season wherever and whenever you grew up. It was, and is, A Charlie Brown Christmas, the annual Christmas “special” (remember when the TV networks had “specials”?) aired on CBS starting in 1965, and beloved ever since.
Because I am quite sure every single reader will be familiar with A Charlie Brown Christmas, I won’t go into the details of this lovely little animated story based on the cartoon strip by Charles M. Schulz. What I want to tell you about tonight is my latest Christmas-décor acquisition for the Manse: a Charlie Brown Christmas tree!
You remember the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, the wan little thing that Charlie Brown, accompanied by Linus, picks out from amongst all the glowicky fake trees as the one to use in the Peanuts gang’s Christmas play. “Boy are you stupid, Charlie Brown,” Violet tells him when she sees it. “What kind of a tree is that?” adds Patty. “You were supposed to get a good tree. Can’t you even tell a good tree from a poor tree?” barks Lucy. Poor Charlie Brown; he can never get things right.
In the end, of course, Charlie Brown is vindicated in his choice of a real tree. He and the rest of the gang find the true meaning of Christmas after good ol’ Linus recites the Biblical Christmas story, and the poor little tree gets a whole lot of love and attention and is transformed into a beautiful thing. But we all remember that poor little tree as it first appears, and how it droops to the ground (and Charlie Brown fears he’s killed it) when he puts a single red ornament on it.
Flash-forward to a recent visit to the Madoc Home Hardware by Raymond and me. Because it was the beginning of December, and for me that’s the time to start getting into the Christmas spirit, I could not resist perusing the Christmas-related items on the store shelves. And what did I find but: a Charlie Brown Christmas tree! In a box! Which you could buy and take home and have for your very own!
It was rather heart-warming how, as we were paying for it at the checkout, several members of the store staff remarked on it: “Oh, you’re getting the Charlie Brown Christmas tree!” “The Charlie Brown tree – I love that!”
Basically, everybody knows, and everybody loves, the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
And now (having followed the some-assembly-required directions) we have one at the Manse! And here it is:
And all I have to say about all of this is: MERRY CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN!