A Charlie Brown Christmas
We call it our “Charlie Brown” tree. Measuring 20 inches high and containing just a few branches, it reminds us of the one that made “A Charlie Brown Christmas” into must-see seasonal TV after its 1965 debut.
Like so many knickknacks that have made their way into our home, we aren’t sure where we bought it or when, although we believe the purchase came around 2015.
There are a couple reasons we are so fond of this modest tree.
First, it reminds us of the one some friends brought to our home in Colorado more than 30 years ago. A freshly cut tree from the foothills just west of Denver.
Just like the original in the cartoon classic, it had large gaps. Yet the spaces proved perfect. They allowed the ornaments to hang freely and the lights to show better than a more expensive Frasier fir would have.
In addition, it was so unexpected and such a sign of caring friendship that it still warms our hearts to think about it.
The Sole Tree
The other reason we cherish our Charlie Brown imitation is this year it will be the only tree in our living room.
Amid the resurgence of the coronavirus that scaled down most everyone’s holiday plans this year, we decided our traditional family Christmas dinner gathering—which last year surpassed three dozen people—wasn’t a good idea in 2020.
Nor was the mid-December tree trimming party we normally host for our great-grandchildren.
No sooner had we called all everyone to let them know of the cancellations than we decided to forego pulling our larger tree, ornaments, and most lights out of the attic. We did retrieve a short strand for the Charlie Brown tree. But no climbing on a ladder to string them on the house this season.
This essentially reflects what’s happening around us. A mid-week men’s group I attend hadn’t met for more than a month, until we recently caught up on Zoom. At our church, a pair of COVID-19 diagnoses for two church members forced services to online-only status twice in recent weeks.
In addition, the Christmas play planned for this coming weekend has turned into a recorded version slated to debut next week. It will be shown at church Dec. 27—or maybe just online.
Taking a Lower Profile
Lest I sound like I’m trying to put a happy face on a bad situation, I’m not fond of the pandemic that put a kibosh on the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Our Christmas family dinners are a highlight of the year, and the one time we will see everyone in our growing extended family.
This year’s Thanksgiving turned out to be quieter than expected after a trio of anticipated guests stayed home. And, instead of venturing out to our younger daughter’s home in the country, we visited two days later, when we weren’t so tired.
We still plan to see the flock of family members living in the area during the next 10 days. It will just be in smaller groups, which are often conducive to better conversations.
What I have discovered this year is that we can fall in love with our “plans” more than the Savior who is the reason for the season.
Skipping the hustle and bustle of the typical American Christmas can be a gift for everyone who takes the time to appreciate it.