I learned the story of Christmas… the real one not the one about the fat guy in a red suit, watching Charlie Brown. I bet a lot of people, whether they are a Christ Follower or not know the story by heart because of this special… shoot a lot of what I learned I learned from Charlie Brown, how toast can be a meal, what not to dress as at Halloween if I don’t want rocks in my bag, that war and peace can really make the holiday’s a bummer, especially a New Years Eve party that has smooching potential, and of course the fact that Christmas is run by a huge Eastern Syndicate, and that a blanket and some decorations can turn a twig into a full blown Christmas tree that could stand in the window of any store.
We watch… wait let me rephrase I watch everyone else seems to tolerate this special each year. I love the simplicity of the whole thing. My favorite line, aside from “don’t you know sarcasm when you hear it?” Is when Linus says “I can tell you what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”
“And there were in the same country…” I even can do the voice inflections. The fact that I can recite this story isn’t what’s important though. It’s so much more important to have the story be a part of who I am.
I remember what Christmas used to be… I don’t know perhaps I have romanticized the whole thing. The last day of school before break, Christmas plays at the church, the little box with the candy in it that we got when we left candle light communion on Christmas Eve, admit it, that was what you cared about as a kid, well that and the fact that you got to hold fire in church and no one could say anything because the pastor was the one that started the whole thing in the first place. I remember going to my Grandma’s on Christmas Eve, eating tons of Italian food, and my Uncle Paul coming before he went off to Midnight Mass. We would always get up on Christmas morning open presents and then head to Akron. The smells of my grandma’s kitchen, the big French door was always closed (for the record I went back a few years ago, yea the door wasn’t as big, in fact the house was much much smaller than it used to be.) She had a red shag carpet and her bed was in the downstairs bedroom. It was a rope bed, we would hide under the bed and count the squares. One year my cousin Nicole had us all pretending the silver balls that were put on the sugar cookies were pills.
Remembering all these things makes me think of how important and special, and magical Christmas used to be.
Last year I set up the Christmas tree the week before Christmas, at least I think it was the week before it cold have been a few days before. I just couldn’t get into it, which is bad beecause we have three girls who are into it, they could just be into the presents but you understand, and I have to say I’m rather jealous of them, jealous in fact of all the people who just LOVE Christmas.
I can’t get into it this year. I put the tree up on the first. It was decorated with lights and all and no complaining from me for the first time in a long time, I have been trying to listen to Christmas music, Making plans for Ohio, deciding what to do special for the four girls that God has blessed me with.
This is where I realize that I need a Linus. I’m striving to get back a feeling that will not come back the same way that it was a part of my life all those years ago. I want to see the wonder of Christmas, I want to feel a deep desire to decorate, or make Christmas cookies, or do all the things you are supposed to do at this time of year, and I just can’t seem to get it right. The thing is I know what Christmas is all about. I know who we are celebrating, I know all of these things, in my head and in my heart mind you, bur for some strange reason that just doesn’t seem to be enough this year. I want more than that. I want all the cousins together, I want Amberly and Zoey, and Jocelyn to get to hang out with my cousins, I want to hear my uncle Robin say funny stuff, I want to sit in a big circle with Grandma White at the center of it and each of us opening our gifts one at a time. I want to steal the buckeyes that my mom would make for my uncles… all of this I want and more. I want there to be a Watch Night service, complete with games and food and praying in the new year. I want that but I just don’t feel it. I can’t seem to get into the whole thing.
With that in mind… I need Linus, I wonder how many more of us need him as well.