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I grew up in a house that believed in God, but not organized religion. Because of that, I will always be grateful for Linus Van Pelt. If it weren’t for that lisping, thumb sucking, blanket toting, young philosopher, I would have had a very empty, shallow existence.

As a child, Linus planted that seed of the magic of Christmas. While Charlie Brown cried out “Doesn’t anybody know the real meaning of Christmas?”, Linus popped that thumb out of his mouth and came forward with Luke 2:10-14. There was a hush, and a spotlight shone on this little cartoon boy telling of the birth Jesus. Linus had my full attention – I hung on every word. It still, to this day, stops me in my tracks when I hear it.

What a gamble Charles Schulz (a hero of mine) took – even back then. Imagine – a cartoon special with a message – and a Biblical one at that. Would that fly on today’s networks? Sure, they show it every year (and may I say, I miss the Dolly Madison commercials of my youth that used to air with all Peanut’s specials), but you’ve got to wonder if some network execs inwardly cringe at Linus’ big moment.

I say “Thanks Linus…” – thanks for showing me, Sally, Lucy, and Schroeder that there is more to Christmas than Barbie Dreamhouses, “tens and twenties”, real estate, Christmas cards, and pretty girls. There is love, and wonder, and hope.

“And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

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Those who know our family, call us the Griswolds.  “Aw c’mon…don’t flatter yourselves…” you might be thinking, but, no, it’s true.  Holidays have found us without water due to DIY plumbing repair, or eating Christmas dinner with winter jackets on, due to an HVAC unit that took the day off. My fave – Ken out in the front yard in his pj’s Christmas morning with a chainsaw “trimming” our tree down (fully decorated) where it had split up the trunk.  Nothing says “Yuletide” like wood chips flying and the rip of a chainsaw.  Take that while you eat your Christmas morning breakfast casserole.

 

Vacations are no better.  We have survived jellyfish stings, car fires, speeding tickets,  fish in bikini bottoms (don’t ask), multiple trips to the ED along the NC coast, and apparently, I am the Pied Piper of roaches.  They seem to like to watch me sleep, shower, eat cereal  – flattered, I am not.

 

So this morning, I’m making breakfast for the kids, and Ken calls me into the living room.  “Honey – the tree fell.”

 

“Yeah, whatever…ha ha…” I say as I pop in some toaster waffles.

 

“No really, come look.”

 

I’ll be damned – there was the tree passed out across the couch.  Apparently, the weight of the ornaments only hung on the front of the tree that people “see” was too much to bear.  The tree and I must share some OCD qualities, as I was gritting my teeth while watching the kids neglect the rear the night before.  Those same kids, who nagged us mercilessly to procure and decorate said tree, were no where to be found when Ol’ Tannenbaum needed a lift.  After much grunting and wrangling, the tree is back in the stand, for now, quietly mouthing “Help me!”

 

So, now I give to you, the Yar-wold Family Christmas tree (drumroll please) – complete with copies of “ATV World” and “Simple and Delicious” magazines propping it up in the stand.  

Fa la la la la la la la la….

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