Thursday, December 22, 2011
Well ginger my bread Charlie Brown...Merry Christmas!
Does that fact take anything away from my annual yuletide enjoyment of that sappy Brown kid and his array of smart-alacky friends? Absolutely not.
Charlie Brown Christmas is, and always will be, a holiday tradition for me. Along with watching the antics of the Griswold family (including Cousin Eddie) each year, Chuck and the gang have a knack for putting me straight into the fa-la-la spirit. What's not to love?
While it's true some media pundits have chosen to call out the Schulz classic for the 'dark, depressing undertones', my spin is the show hits all the true highs and lows of what we have, in fact, made Christmas.
Trying to ween the four-year old off the sterile and emotionally dead line up on Nickelodeon over to watching a cartoon that first aired when yours truly was a rambunctious, tree-destroying toddler was no easy task either. The hand-drawn frames of 1965 hardly pale in comparison to the computer-generated wash of shows today that produce new cartoons like daytime soap episodes.
But... I'm a bit stubborn (that didn't require confirmation by amen, but the way). So... I tried to keep her interested in the show hoping the deeper moral and spiritual ambiances would take hold.
Crazy Tomato: Why is that big headed kid...
Tony C: That's Charlie Brown.
Crazy Tomato: ...why is Charlie Brown mad at his dog for decorating his dog house?
Tony C: Christmas isn't about decorating the house or getting presents sweetheart. It's about Jesus being born, and that's a very big deal.
Crazy Tomato: Oh. Why does that dog sound like a cat when he talks? How do they understand him?
Tony C: The dog's name is Snoopy and this is a cartoon. Dogs don't really talk in real life, but in cartoons everyone can understand them.
Crazy Tomato: Oh. This cartoon is really old daddy.
Tony C: Just watch it with me. You'll like it I promise.
That's when my Christmas moment happened for 2011. As her interest (and tolerance) was seriously waning, the scene cuts to Schroeder kicking out that classic jazzy tune Linus and Lucy...and the gang starts to dance...
The Crazy Tomato lit up with a smile, then she started dancing to the music and pointing out the funny ways some were getting their groove on...my words....not hers.
Yes! Acceptance can be a golden gift for an old, outdated and out of touch parent. While it's not necessary to properly carry out the responsibilities...it can sure be a sweet treat at times.
As the moment I had patiently waited for approached, she was captivated.
Tony C: Watch this part and listen sweety. Very important stuff...
Crazy Tomato: Okay daddy.
Crazy Tomato: It's about baby Jesus daddy. He's talking about baby Jesus.
Tony C: That's right sweetheart. Baby Jesus...
Crazy Tomato: Can we watch it again?
I'd be safe in saying you will never, and I mean ever, hear a monologue coming from Dora, Phineas, Wubbzy, Spongebob or even the Wiggles like the beautiful prose recited by Linus from the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke.
And that's why Charlie Brown Christmas will continue to be a tradition in the Tony C home for many years to come...but my little Crazy Tomato is going to have to wait a few years before she can watch Christmas Vacation with dad. I'm sure Clark will still be just as funny then too.
May God bless your Christmas celebration in a mighty way this year.