Thursday, December 10, 2009

There is more to Christmas than presents

Charlie BrownImage of Charlie Brown via Wikipedia

Jewish date:  23 Kislew 5770 (Parashath Wayyeshev).

Today’s holiday:  Thursday of the Second Week of Advent (Roman Catholicism).

Topic 1:  More current anti-Semitism:  “Guardian's Dodgy Death Toll” and “UNRWA: Perpetuating the Misery”, which deal with baseless statistics and the United Nations and Arab states doing what they can to keep the so-called “Palestinians” living in misery so they have an excuse to blame Israel.

Topic 2:  My favorite Christmas special, which the other day showed up on Hulu:  A Charlie Brown Christmas.

It is admittedly strange for an Orthodox Jew to have a favorite Christmas special, but it makes sense in the context of this blog.  A typical Christmas special deals with one of more characters doing something to get into the spirit of giving or things going wrong with Santa Claus’s gift-giving duties.  A Charlie Brown Christmas, possibly uniquely, actually mentions with what Christmas is supposed to be about:  the birth of Jesus.  Linus quotes the Gospels on this point, and the plot centers around the characters preparing for a Nativity play.  Also, rather than gifts, love is emphasized.  The difference is subtle.  While giving gifts may be an act of love, there are other expressions of love.  Charlie Brown shows love for a tiny nebbish of a Christmas tree, accepting it despite its shortcomings when no one else wants it.  He brings it to his friends to get the troupe in the proper Christmas spirit, and though they reject it, he still loves it.  When he thinks he has killed it when he tries to decorate it, his friends realize their error and decorate it themselves.  They realize that Charlie Brown was right and accept him.  Rather than emphasizing the presents and Santa Claus, the theology and morality of holiday is emphasized.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]