A Ghost of Christmas Past

It being Christmas Eve, earlier this evening I found myself humming the “Christmastime Is Here” song from the old Charlie Brown Christmas special. (The show originally aired in 1965, when I was nine, and Vince Guaraldi’s beautiful score has stayed with me ever since.)

The tune got me thinking about the show itself, which is about the secularization and commercialization of Christmas. It falls to Linus, at the end of the show, to explain what the holiday is “really all about”. He does so by quoting the King James Bible:

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.”

“…That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

That was fifty years ago this December. I wonder if such a thing would be approved for production today.

But enough of that for now. A very merry Christmas to you all!


  1. Malcolm says

    A pre-emptive note: yes, I know about pagan solstice holidays, and the relatively minor importance of Christmas throughout the Christian world for much of its history.

    (Just trying to save some of you, perhaps, a little time and effort.)

    Posted December 24, 2015 at 11:49 pm | Permalink
  2. It will be especially merry for the folks in either the Bay Area or in Cleaveland, and sort of bah humbug in the other place.

    Happy holidays, all y’all.

    Posted December 25, 2015 at 2:25 am | Permalink
  3. I thought Linus was of the Great Pumpkin sect.

    Oh, well, Merry Christmas anyway . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted December 25, 2015 at 3:25 am | Permalink
  4. pangur says

    Merry Christmas, Malcolm, many thanks and best wishes for the year ahead to you and (most of) your readers.

    Posted December 25, 2015 at 3:48 am | Permalink
  5. whitewall says

    Well, it’s over for another year. Company has departed, a surprise funeral attended, the castle is back to a more recognizable state of clutter, the moat refilled and the drawbridge raised. There is much I want to read from the thread before this one…but first, a well deserved nap.

    Posted December 27, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  6. antiquarian says

    Approved for publication by whom? The media are fragmenting.

    Posted December 28, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

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