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The True Meaning of Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas was first broadcast in 1965 on CBS.  I was 8 years old and I was stunned at the time by the passage of Linus quoting the Gospel of Luke in explaining the true meaning of Christmas.  Apparently CBS executives wanted to cut this passage out, but Charles Schulz, normally a fairly non-confrontational man, was adamant that it remain in.

That was the most important battle Schulz waged and won over this first of the Charlie Brown specials, but there were many others.  The CBS executives wanted a laugh track, they didn’t like using kid voice actors instead of adult voice actors and they thought that the jazz music throughout the show was too unusual for what they perceived as a show for kids.  When the show was finished the executives were horrified and thought they had a major flop on their hands.

The show was a critical and popular success, with 50% of all televisions in America tuned in to it when it was first broadcast.  The show won a Peabody and an Emmy and became a Christmas fixture for many American families.  It is still broadcast each year, ABC acquiring the rights from CBS in 2000.  The ending of the show underlines Schulz’ s desire to focus on Christ, something sadly lacking too often at Christmas time.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

4 Comments

  1. Amen!

    Seems as if Mr. Schulz (RIP) didn’t get the memo. The only people allowed to publicly express their beliefs are godless elitists that don’t believe in anything.

  2. Merrily, Jesus’ Salvation Mystery, like perennial grass, shall never be buried. Just when the godless begin celebrating and congratulating one another He is forgotten and they have buried him for ever, He humbly and lovingly rises up to remind us He loves us and became one of us so that He opens the Gates of Heaven for us.

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