Who Makes Christmas, According To Linus

To The Reader’s Forum:

People are connected to Christmas. You see it all over the place in the stores, on the web, over the radio. It’s all around you. That’s stats prove it. According to Pew Research, 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas. That’s encouraging, but is it? While that percentile of 90% has held steady over recent years, the role of faith has declined in celebrating Christmas. Only 46% of Americans celebrate Christmas as primarily religious down from 51% in 2013 and 56% of US adults say that the religious aspects of Christmas are emphasized less today than in the past. With that said, doesn’t the declining trend of faith indicate a disconnection to Christmas?

As a child, hardly anything on TV could connect me to Christmas better than Charlie Brown. Remember the part when he was exasperated exclaiming, “Would somebody please tell me what Christmas is all about?” As only he could, Linus proceeded to quote the Bible from Luke 2 for Charlie to get connected to the meaning of Christmas.

Recently, I saw and heard something I had never experienced. For their Christmas concert, the students of Bethel Academy sang the music of Charlie Brown Christmas, not just the delightful toe-tapping fun stuff of Schroeder, but the sacred tunes of Christ’s birth, like Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. How wonderful to have Bethel Academy and Jamestown High A Cappella Choir in our area make that true historical connection superbly to the very essence of Christmas.

“Christmas is what you make it,” a tagline on a commercial on TV said. Doesn’t making Christmas into what you make it put you at the center of it? Isn’t Christmas God’s idea? His plan? His making? Making Christmas into what we make it is a subtle message to disconnect Christmas from its original making. Christmas was an act of divine grace to set in motion the work on earth by the 2nd person of Trinity to redeem sinners from the bondage to sin. No amount of making Christmas what we want it to be can barely get close to the cosmic implications accomplished in the Incarnation.

Trivializing Christmas into our own making is similar to what is being done by this culture with truth and morality. Our stubborn egos make truth and morality into what we want them to be severing them from their ultimate source and author, God. As with truth and morality, Christmas is what God made it. That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

The Rev. Mel McGinnis