First, there is more to Christmas than just presents. Become more involved in the things that connect you to the real meaning of Christmas. On Lucy’s advice, Charlie Brown agreed to direct a school nativity play. Look around. There are opportunities to give of yourself at church, school, and throughout the community. These things will help remind you of the real meaning of Christmas.
Next, not everyone is on the same journey as you. On the way to the auditorium, Charlie Brown stops by Snoopy's doghouse, only to find out that even his own dog has gone commercial. He later runs into his sister Sally, who asks him to write her letter to Santa Claus requesting large sums of money. For some, it is about getting. To them, it is more about the cost of the gift than the spirit it was given in. The financial pressure of keeping up with the “Jones” can be overwhelming. Steer clear of people and events that add to your frustration.
Thirdly, there are some situations during this holiday season that are outside of your control. Choose your battles. Charlie Brown arrives at the rehearsals, but he is unable control the situation as the uncooperative kids are more interested in modernizing the play with dancing and lively music. Charlie Brown in an effort not to let the play become too commercial decides to focus on the traditional side of the story. To bring everyone back in focus he decides they need a Christmas tree. It’s ok to go against the grain. Make sure the choices you make this season reflect how you truly feel.
Finally, Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. Never give up on your quest for the true meaning. Some people will laugh, while others will help. Charlie Brown was determined. With Linus in tow, he sets off on his quest. When they get to the tree market, he zeroes in on a small baby tree which, ironically as well as symbolically, is the only real tree on the lot. They return to the school auditorium with the tree and everybody laughs at him. In desperation, Charlie Brown begins to wonder if he really knows what Christmas is all about. Linus steps in to help and recites the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verses 8 through 14:
"'”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.'" "...And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to www.tlhouston.com.