Where are all the adults?


Read all the posts from A Charlie Brown Christmas Week. Now, go memorize your lines and be ready to recite when your cue comes.

 

I am a terrible American. Truly despicable. I don’t know how I got this far without getting caught. But I have never seen A Charlie Brown Christmas. I know, I know. We aren’t friends anymore. I already started working on the scarlet letter that I will wear for the rest of my life.

So, I’ve decided to watch the show for the first time and share my thoughts as I go. Like a running diary. I hope you like my brain. Hopefully this isn’t as scary as Being John Malkovich. I have some preconceived notions about what I’m going to watch. For instance, I’ve heard about Linus’s speech, so I know that comes in at some point. Here it goes…

0:03 – Lots of snow. No mountains. Barren trees. Makes me think Charlie Brown must live in Michigan or Wisconsin or something.

0:17 – One of the characters has bubbly ice following him while he skates? What is that about? Does he have Alka Seltzer on those skates?

0:39 – I can’t tell if adults or children are singing “Christmas Time is Here.” It sounds like a mixture of both. Also, Charlie Brown looks like an old soul. Worry lines on a child’s face.

0:54 – I just met Linus. Sucking his thumb and holding a blankie, but old enough to go walking in the snow without adult supervision? Some things need to be addressed in this child’s life.

1:19 – Confirmed. Charlie Brown is an old soul. Sounds like he is a pessimist and a downer. Living like he’s 40 when he’s 8.

1:46 – This dog, Snoopy, is out of control! Hey, take it easy! Can’t you see these are children!

2:17 – He’s preaching a false gospel to himself. Charlie, you will believe what you preach to yourself. You’re only reinforcing your pessimistic attitude!

2:37 – Pigpen. Nuff said. He needs a bath badly. WHERE ARE HIS PARENTS?

3:30 – My thoughts exactly, little girl. Take away the blanket, and what is he? Just another child. Take away all of our blankies, and what are we? Just people.

3:55 – Wait, the little girl is a psychiatrist? Okay, WHERE ARE THE ADULTS? But I can already see the narrative of Charlie Brown. He does need someone to tease out the gospel truths and identities to walk in victory. Maybe she can help.

4:35 – Link between fear and depression. Interesting. She makes it sound a bit like pop psychology to me, though. This was before Dr. Phil, right?

5:02 – I’ve known some pantophobians in my lifetime.

5:15 – Community-based change. Not a bad idea, Lucy. Biblical. But that won’t solve everything.

5:47 – Is that empathy I smell? Or the Me Monster in Lucy? We shall see….

6:36 – Just help your little sister, pal! If you could get outside yourself, you would start to find your true self!

7:16 – That’s the third reference to money by a small child already. These kids are too young to be worrying about all this cash. Lucy wanted nickels, Snoopy is playing the decorating contest for money and this small child just wants money! Take note, lest we think greed is a new corruption. “My fair share” — I’ve heard that before. But good old soul Charlie knows there’s more to life than that. Thank you for your outrage, Charlie.

7:34 – So Lucy is both greedy and bossy. Not a good combination, Charlie. Keep your guard up.

8:26 – Establishing his authority. Setting some boundaries. Good job, Charlie.

9:17 – An innkeeper would probably be somewhat dirty. So the part fits pretty well. But someone still needs to give that Pigpen a bath.

10:36 – You know, I thought I smelled empathy in Lucy earlier, but now I’m thinking it’s a false face. Empathy as long as it is convenient for her. But bullying her little brother? Man, that girl will need a strong husband.

11:04 – That kid, the prodigy who knows how to play the piano with his toes better than adults.

11:25 – Turning a negative into a positive. I knew you had it in you, Charlie! Just do that with what you were saying to yourself earlier. Maybe people don’t send you Christmas cards because they enjoy seeing you in person more? Hmm? Have you thought of that?

11:46 – Pigpen is a glass half-full kind of guy. A perfect foil to Charlie and Lucy’s depression and pessimism.

12:40 – Hey, listen, Lucy, maybe he’s an internal processor, OK? Just give him a minute to THINK! He’s obviously a reflective kind of guy, so don’t demand so much so fast! Jeesh.

13:19 – Charlie yearns for the real, substantive meaning to be drawn out. Everyone is just skating on the “Christmas is about me, about presents, about money” ice. That stuff cracks. Can’t you all see that Charlie is yearning for something more than little kids’ fantasies? He’s wanting so much more!

14:09 – Were aluminum Christmas trees a thing back then? And pink? I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen anything like that ever.

14:25 – I knew it was coming. Looking for the real in the sea of fake. Good story telling, Schulz.

 

15:09 – Just appreciate the greatness in front of you, Lucy! THE KID IS PLAYING BEETHOVEN! BEETHOVEN!

15:30 – To follow the trail of musical history of classical music to jazz would be pretty amazing. What can’t this kid play? Wow. I’m impressed.

15:54 – I think everyone is killing the mood that Charlie is going for. Only Snoopy and Charlie get it so far.

16:52 – Whoa, whoa, whoa! Accusation, accusation, accusation! Believe the truth, Charlie. Stand firm in your conviction.

17:14 – What a place of condemnation. They attacked his smarts, his identity, his authority. Why did you ask him to be your director if you weren’t prepared to listen to him and follow his lead? One day they love you, the next day they hate you. Sorry to say this, Charlie, but thus is life sometimes.

17:33 – As he followed that yearning for what Christmas was supposed to be about, it led him to crying out. Profound. Our desire for truth and substance should eventually lead us to crying out for help. And the answer was right under his nose, in Linus. Maybe Linus could’ve helped him earlier, but then the story would not have built to where it is now.

18:25 – Must’ve had those verses memorized. Good job Linus on the Memory Madness work. Perfect timing, too.

19:29 – The good news of the gospel takes Charlie’s focus off himself and onto God. Brilliant work, Linus. For all the hearts that will receive him, he offers you life outside of yourself. Instead of a frown, a smile. Instead of depression, hope. Instead of caring what others think about you, confidence.

20:14 – With the new hope, he still falls back into the despair of himself. Remember what you just heard, Charlie! The good news is Christ in you, not you!

20:43 – Wait, where did all the extra branches and tree-filling come from? I think they may have changed the tree out while the kids were helping decorate it. Either way, the community-based change and support is working here.

21:16 – They helped him out, and in so doing, realized that Christmas wasn’t about their money, their play, their little trinkets. Everyone gets joy out of this deal. With faith like a child.

21:37 – Anyone know what a blandishment is? Anyone?

21:51 – Overall, a great, quick take on Jesus being the center of our Christmas focus and celebration. But still, I’m wondering: WHERE ARE THE ADULTS?!

Nathan Hrouda

Author Nathan Hrouda

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