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A Charlie Brown Christmas Reminder

     Our Daily Bread (ODB.org) reminded me that its the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas. It made its debut on CBS on December 9, 1965, In the special, Charlie Brown is depressed over the commercialism of Christmas.  Lucy suggests that he direct a Christmas play to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

Some TV executives wanted Charles Schultz to omit the Christmas story, but he insisted on putting it in. Others felt that it wouldn’t matter because no one would watch the cartoon anyway.

In the cartoon, character Linus recites the true meaning of Christmas by quoting Luke 2:8-14, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour 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.”

After quoting the entire passage, Linus turns to Charlie Brown and says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown”.

The show was an immediate success. It was rewarded with high viewership ratings and acclaim from critics. It has been honored with both an Emmy and Peabody Award and it is still shown annually during the Christmas season. The soundtrack for the cartoon went triple platinum. During this time of year I still regularly hear songs from the soundtrack.

Laws can be enacted to remove the Nativity scene from government land and some people can make a concerted effort to only wish a Happy Holiday. Despite all that, 50 years of Charlie Brown still tells us on network television the true meaning of Christmas. No law has stopped that.

And for pic o’ day… maybe too much of a Christmas gift?

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A Peanuts Thank You Lesson

     I started to blog on the FDA and peanut butter approval and I got sidetracked. (a blog for another day) Sidetracked over a lesson  that I found in Charles Schultz’s  comic strip “Peanuts”. A reminder of the meaning of saying  “thank you” .

     Lucy asks Charlie Brown to help her with her homework. She tells him that if he helps, “I will be eternally grateful”. “Fair enough.” Charlie says, ” I’ve never had anyone be eternally grateful before.”

     Charlie Brown looks over her assignment and tells her, “just subtract 4 from 10 to get how many apples the farmer had left”. “That’s it? That’s it? I have to be eternally grateful for that?” Lucy replies. “I was robbed! I can’t be eternally grateful for this….. it was too easy!”

     With a blank look, Charlie Brown just replies, Well, whatever you think is fair.” 

     “How about if I just say ‘thanks bro’?” Lucy suggests.

     As Charlie Brown leaves to go outside, he sees Linus, who asks, “Where have you been Charlie Brown?” “Helping Lucy with her homework”. “Did she appreciate it?” Linus asks. Charlie replies, “At greatly reduced rates”.

     Sometimes,  A thank you seems a little contrived. A business with a slogan that “Gratitude is our attitude” might mean it or they just enjoy rhyming. A spokesman at the end of a show, speed reading a thank you to all the sponsors usually feels a bit hollow.

     Last week, I had a client come in to sign her paperwork and receive her settlement check. Despite all that she had been through, she  gave me a big smile and then she said ‘thank you so much for all that you did for me”.

     My mind has gone back to that thank you several times, since then. It had an impact on me. I really felt good that I had helped her, and despite what she had been through, it was the client that made me feel that way. 

          “Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” – Author Unknown.

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