On Linus and the Meaning of Christmas

My niece turned three on Monday, and on Saturday I went down to Virginia to spend the day with my sister and her family to celebrate my niece’s birthday.

For my niece’s birthday, I gave her some Christmas socks and a recordable storybook of A Charlie Brown Christmas that I picked up at Hallmark a few weeks earlier. My parents had given my niece a similar book for Christmas last year — theirs was of, I think, A Night Before Christmas — and my mom suggested that my niece would like this.

It was a nice idea, and I do have a voice made for radio (so people have told me over the years), and I made the recording of me, reading the book, and I think it turned out well.

I have no idea if my niece liked it or not; she was more interested in clothes for her favorite doll. 🙂

Then, this morning, I saw this image on Facebook, from a webcomic posted last year:

Linus tells the truth about Christmas. It’s not the story that Sparky… err, Charles Schulz would have told, true, but it’s still true — there isn’t an original bone in Christianity’s body, and it has rifled through the pockets of religions hither, thither, and yon over the past two millennia. Linus doen’t cover everything I think he should — he should have tied these various pagan festivals to the winter solstice and why that was astronomically auspicious — but he does make a good start, and hopefully Charlie Brown will educate himself in comparative religion. 🙂

And it’s a very good thing I didn’t see this before I recorded A Charlie Brown Christmas because, yes, you can be absolutely guaranteed that I would have “substituted” this page for the page of the book in which Linus tells the story from the Gospel of St. Luke. I mean, obviously, the words on the page in my niece’s book would have been what Hallmark printed. But the story that came out of the speakers would have been something entirely different. Of course, I’m the person who gave my niece a plush Cthulhu when she was one. It was cute and green and all… 😉

What I especially like about this recaptioned Peanuts page is the attention to detail. The recaptioner used a font that replicates Schulz’s handwriting. Too often I’ve seen recaptioned Peanuts strips that use Comic Sans. Not only does that look wrong because it doesn’t mesh with the artwork, but Comic Sans is a crime against humanity. No, this artist took the time and did it right, and I applaud him for it.

Merry Mithrasmas, Charlie Brown!

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

3 thoughts on “On Linus and the Meaning of Christmas

  1. Akira, of course someone edited it. And whoever did it, he did a very good job with it, too. 🙂

    I’m well aware of what’s in A Charlie Brown Christmas; I just watched it this past week on ABC. Linus recites the nativity story from the Gospel of St. Luke.

    However, I happen to like this “remix,” if you will, of Linus’ tale of what Christmas is all about, because here he hits on an essential truth of the holiday — there’s a lot about Christmas that isn’t particularly Christian.

  2. Seriously, though, this cartoon has been edited, and the original cartoonist’s URL removed and replaced. Compare the dialog in the third balloon in the third panel of your reprint with this, the original version of the cartoon, which was brought to my attention by this post at Fleen. You’re perpetrating a plagiarism; one which changes the tone of the piece from something I can agree with to something that’s, in comparison, just mean.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *