Today is December 1st. Christmas Celebrations may officially begin.
This is how it would be if it was left up to me: No more Christmas decorations in September ( I’m talking to you Lowes!) No more Christmas music piped overhead in October ( I’m talking to you Walmart!) No more Black Friday silliness in November. But on December 1st it would be an explosion of a month long celebration announcing the birth of our Savior and focusing on spending time with our families and of course, we would whisper about jolly old St. Nick.
To kick off this holiday season, I wanted to post a clip from my childhood memories. It became particularly more meaningful to me when I found out the story behind it.
HT: Denny Burk
Following information from dennyburk.com:
Lee Habeeb tells the story at National Review online about how Charles Schultz’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” almost never came to be. The sticking point was Linus’ reading of Luke 2:8-14 near the end of the story (see video above). In short, network executives and even the voice of Snoopy (Bill Melendez) thought that Linus’ reading from the King James Bible would make the program a flop in the ratings. As we all know by now, they turned out to be very wrong. Here’s a snippet from Habeeb’s article:
The executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke. The network orthodoxy of the time assumed that viewers would not want to sit through passages of the King James Bible.
There was a standoff of sorts, but Schulz did not back down, and because of the tight production schedule and CBS’s prior promotion, the network executives aired the special as Schulz intended it. But they were certain they had a flop on their hands.
“They were freaking out about something so overtly religious in a Christmas special,” explained Melendez. “They basically wrote it off, like, hey, this is just isn’t going to be interesting to anyone, and it’s just going to be like a big tax write-off.”
Melendez himself was somewhat hesitant about the reading from Luke. “I was leery of the religion that came into it, and I was right away opposed to it. But Sparky just assumed what he had to say was important to somebody.”
Which is why Charles Schulz was Charles Schulz. He knew that the Luke reading by Linus was the heart and soul of the story.
Merry Christmas and let the fun begin!