December 2012 – When the news reported recently that singer Andy Williams had died, I got a lump in my throat. Not that I was a huge Andy Williams fan. I don’t own any of his albums. It’s just that Andy Williams was one of the television stars that always had a Christmas special when I was a kid. Like most Americans, our family loved to watch all the Christmas specials (selecting them from our vast array of three channels), and Andy Williams was one of the best, year after year. His voice was amazing. He would always sing, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” What a great song.
Until recently, Christmas has always held a special place in the hearts of most Americans. Maybe it still does to some degree, but it’s hard to tell with all the political correctness sweeping our land. We are told we might offend non-Christians if we talk about Christmas too much. We have moved into a generic “holiday” celebration.
Many people have also succumbed to multiculturalism, which basically teaches that all cultures are morally equal, so to elevate Christmas above other religious holidays would offend other cultures. What a bunch of hogwash. It’s a shame what the politically correct crowd has tried to do with Christmas in our country.
My growing up years were in the 1960s and ’70s. In addition to the Andy Williams special, our family also made it a point to enjoy A Charlie Brown Christmas, which debuted in 1965 and continues on network television today.
Through the loveable cartoon characters from the Peanuts series, the real reason for Christmas is presented when, at the school play rehearsal, Linus tells Charlie Brown he knows the real reason for Christmas and goes on stage in front of the spotlight and quotes from the Scriptures:
“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” (Luke 2:8-14).
Then Linus looks at Charlie and says, “… and that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
Kudos to the late Charles Shultz, creator of the Peanuts series, for making this the main point of the 30-minute A Charlie Brown Christmas. There’s no way a show that quoted that much Bible could ever make it on network television today if it were not already an established and much anticipated special each year. I guess they know viewers would revolt if Charlie and friends didn’t make their annual Christmas visit.
Let’s keep Christmas in America and let’s keep Christ in Christmas. As Christians, we need to continue to use the Christmas season to share with the world around us the real reason for the celebration.
In one small way, AFA tries to help do that through the Christmas buttons we produce each year. We hope you’re wearing one, and we hope you’ll see others wearing them. They may open a door for you to share with others – as Linus did – “what Christmas is all about.”