Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree

There are probably few among us who don’t know the story of Charlie Brown’s Christmas. This year, between Christmas Eve Services at Emmanuel, I had the opportunity to watch this holiday television tradition with five-year-old Noah, the grandson of one of my parishioners. It had been a long, long time since I had seen anyone so enthusiastic about watching a Charlie Brown special; but you should have seen how excited Noah was to introduce me to one of his favorite holiday shows!

Watching Noah’s expression and seeing his five-year-old’s understanding of the story made something stand out for me this time. After Charlie Brown selects his little tree he presents it to his friends, only to be soundly ridiculed for his choice. Now it’s true that the tree did leave a bit to be desired; but Charlie saw promise in the little tree … until he had that vision bullied out of him. Charlie Brown runs away, depressed over the state of the world. But after Charlie Brown leaves, his friend Linus takes his light blue security blanket and drapes it around the bottom of the tree. The rest of Charlie Brown’s friends join in with left-over ornaments from Snoopy’s dog house, and together they make Charlie Brown’s tree look a whole lot better.

notbadWe’re fortunate if we do not relate to Charlie Brown’s tree. Unfortunately, though, some folks I know do relate to that little tree. They feel a bit bent over. Weighed down. A little fried. A little more than frayed around the edges. Sad. Blown around. Laughed at. Put down. Misunderstood. More than a few of their own needles can be heard tinkling to the ground. How blessed are we if we have friends like Linus to walk with us on this life’s journey, especially when we feel like a tired little sapling. How fortunate are we if we have a friend like Linus who comes up to us and gently wraps his blanket around us – and seems, like Linus, to “get us!” 

Here’s to all those who can relate to the tree; and here’s to all of those like Linus who do what you do and how you do it to help make the world just a little bit better.

For indeed, as Linus said, quoting the Gospel of Luke:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  [Luke 2:8-14]


I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.
Peace friends,


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  • Marianne says:

    I love this story Fr. Chuck. I love Charlie Brown and Linus and I love that tree!! Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  • Kathy McCleary says:

    Glory to God in the highest for sure! I watched this special twice this year – as my nieces & nephews gave me the full Charlie Brown set: Halloween./Thanksgiving/Christmas. It had special meaning to me this year – not sure how to put into words – yet each year something different speaks. Thanks for sharing your time with Noah – another special voice!

  • Joani Peacock says:

    This a lovely reminder of what Christmas is all about.
    The Peanuts special is almost as well known as the Christmas story itself.
    And a Charlie Brown tree is what most
    of us are inside. God bless all the Linus folks out there
    with their blue blankets! And one small thing! Linus
    Recites the King James Version of the 2nd chapter of Luke!

    “And lo, the angel of The Lord came upon them and the glory if The Lord
    shone round about them and they were sore afraid.
    And the angel said unto them: Fear not! for I bring you
    good 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.
    …Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling
    clothes and lying in a manger.”


  • Rose says:

    Thanks for this Chuck – I totally relate and am reminded of the very special friends who walk with me on my life’s journey and pick up my needles when they fall! Happy New Year.

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