Day 18: 25 Days of Christmas Ideas
Take 30 minutes out of your busy schedule to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. Pause the video and look up the scripture that Linus quotes from the Gospel of Luke. (Luke 2: 8-14) Have the kids read the Scripture together. (Here is the youtube clip of Linus.)
This video is my all time favorite. It pulls at my heart strings every single time. Perhaps it is the simplicity with which the story of Christmas is told right out of Scripture. Probably it has a lot to do with it being unexpected in the midst of a cartoon.
Did you know that Charles Schulz, the creator, had a tough decision to make regarding the use of the Scripture? The network executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from Luke. They said that no one would want to sit through a passage of the Bible. Charles Schulz fought to preserve the vision. He said, “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”
There were other complaints by the executives such as the absence of a laugh track and the use of children to do the voice acting. They believed that the cartoon would be a complete flop.
The special aired December 9, 1964. It was an immediate hit both critically and commercially. People felt that it was innovative, authentic and had a sincere feeling to it. Harriet Van Horne of the New York World- Telegram said, “Linus’ reading of the story of the Nativity was, quite simply, the dramatic highlight of the season.”
Fifty percent of U.S. televisions were tuned to the first broadcast. Furthermore, A Charlie Brown Christmas won an Emmy and a Peabody. The Gospel story continues to be told each year because of the innovative thinking of one man and the courage he had to fight to keep the vision of his project.