[guest post] petition for a simple christmas

For once, Emily is not an internet friend I met through Snark Squad but through doing VEDA together. Then she persuaded me to do NaNoWriMo last year with her and we’ve been friends ever since. She has a lovely blog over at Love Woke Me Up This Morning you should check out if you haven’t already. 

I’m sitting here on the couch with my laptop searching my brain for something to write about for Christmas. This one of my favorite times of year. I love the weeks leading up to Christmas with Advent and counting down the days. I love putting up the tree and even sometimes braving the crowded shopping malls to try and find the perfect gifts for my family and friends. Yet, for once, I have no idea what to write about.

Then, as I’m trying to think of what to write about, Merry Christmas Charlie Brown is palying on my TV. So, I’m turning my attention to Charlie Brown. This little “blockhead” has been part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. My dad read the comic every single day in the newspaper and we love to give him little books and other reminders of the Peanuts gang. Naturally, Charlie Brown has always been part of my Christmas.

It amazes me how much I can relate to Charlie in this short Christmas special. As much as I love Christmas, I still find myself having Charlie Brown moments. It’s easy to get bogged down with the pressure of having perfect lights, to be happy all of the time, get the best gifts, and to be involved with everything for Christmas. Sometimes, we just can’t get into the season. Everything feels so complicated and needs to be perfect. Let’s face it – Pinterest doesn’t help the situation. I mean… who has time to make a cake with perfectly sculpted penguins on it? The family Christmas party is ruined!!!!!! Then, there’s people like Charlie Brown who fights tooth and nail trying to get rid of the commercialism, but only ends up even more burnt out than ever. Sometimes, it’s even because of the harsh criticism of his so called “friends.”

Christmas can be rough.

But it doesn’t have to be. What’s awesome about this Christmas special is, Linus shows just how simple it is. A baby is born. Humbly. There were no fancy photographers capturing the ideal moments for your photo album, no expensive hospital bills, just a young family and a baby. Shepherds, who in their world weren’t anything special, going about their night. Until something spectacular happens.

Let’s be honest – our Christmas decorations on our houses and trees are probably barely nightlights compared to the angels singing on Christmas night.

But even then, the message they bring is simple. A baby is born. Peace and goodwill toward men.

That’s it. And that’s what I love about Christmas.

I love the lights and presents and decorations and parties. It’s fun, but it can be overwhelming. But ultimately, that’s not why I love Christmas. It’s because it’s all about hope, peace, bringing light into the darkness, and God coming down to us. Not sitting up in heaven all “Look at me! I’m holy and perfect and all powerful! Too bad you little humans keep screwing everything up. Oh well. Angels! Sing me another song!” Nope. He came here as a tiny baby – just like us. He joined us in the dirt, the wars, the hate, the sadness, and even the commercialism and did something beautiful. Just like Charlie Brown’s little tree. It wasn’t fancy- but with some love it turned into something beautiful.

At least for me, that’s what the best part of Christmas is.

This was lovely, and thanks again very much for doing this post for the blog. I have never seen much of the Peanuts aside from catching a stray episode here or there on TV. Funnily though, my colleague has had a Peanuts comic calendar this year and we have been reading the little comics each day. Well, I only got to read them in the beginning because I had to translate the English jokes for her but it’s still fun and I really like the guys. 

I like your take in Christmas a lot. I’m not really religious but I believe it shouldn’t be too difficult and over the top. Christmas is a simple holiday and shouldn’t be made into too much. Sometimes all the consumerism really gets to me. I love buying stuff and getting presents but that’s not what the holiday is really about and I’m afraid we sometimes forget that too easily. 

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  • Thanks so much for having me!!!!!

  • Oh Em, I always love your take on things. Normally I can push pass the commercialism of the holiday season and get to the heart of it- just like you described. But this year it’s been tough to capture it, because no one else seems to really be enjoying themselves. Thank you for bringing it back to the basics and showing that at least I’m not the only one who thinks such things!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      No, I don’t think you’re the only one thinking such things :-) Cheers!

    • I totally hear ya, it can be really hard to push past it sometimes!