Have Yourself a Very Charlie Christmas

(c) United Feature Syndicate Inc. / ABC

United Feature Syndicate Inc. / ABC

Watching it every Christmas became my religion.

My brother and I, snuggled up in feet-in-em pajamas on the couch, reciting every single line and laughing at the “loo loo loo’s” and big breath taken by all the kids at the last song – every nuance and every moment in the entire show warmed my heart.

Even now as a grown up with a mortgage and meals to cook and kids of my own, it’s my favorite Christmas show. We record it every year and watch it tens of times. We laugh at Snoopy and recite every line and still laugh at the “loo loo loo’s” and the big breath they collectively take during the last song.

A Charlie Brown Christmas.

A simple, sweet and heart-felt story of the true meaning of Christmas.

I watched it the other day with my littlest – snuggled in the big chair with the fuzzy blanket and his Elmo, heartily laughing as he got hiccups from laughing at Snoopy.

As I watched, I noticed the inconsistencies in the graphics. The changing colors of skin tones from frame to frame. The scaling of the Christmas tree changing from shot to shot. How the words “The Doctor is Real In” on Lucy’s booth is sometimes stacked and sometimes laid straight.

And I thought to myself, it’s not perfect. It’s not done with excellence. Second-by-second, frame-by-frame there are things that aren’t exact and aren’t perfect and sometimes look like it’s thrown together.

And as I watched the tradition of loving this show carry down to my littlest, I suddenly saw so clearly:

Where perfection and excellence are the battle cry of this day and age, this simple show from a simple time reminds me of an incredibly important truth –

When the heart is pure, imperfections don’t matter.

We love A Charlie Brown Christmas because it’s the only show that shares the true meaning of Christmas. Because it’s sweet and innocent and was created by one who wanted to show us The One.

And in it’s purity and innocence, Jesus overshadows the imperfections. Not only overshadows them, but makes them endearing. Beloved. Charming. Irresistible.

Noticing this was a revelation for me. I suddenly saw that in my desire to have a perfect Christmas, a perfect ministry, a perfect birthday celebration for my littlest – I forgot to focus on the heart behind it all.

I forgot that Jesus can fill the gaps of a comment form that doesn’t show up the way I want it to on a website. I forgot He can overshadow the imperfection of a missing picture in a brochure. I forgot He can make sound quality problems charming on a podcast. I forgot it’s not how the invitations get sent out, as long as people are invited.

I forgot.

I focused so much on the imperfection itself that I lost sight of Jesus in all of it.

And watching Charlie Brown with my own little Linus reminded me to stop being such a blockhead.

As we enter into this Christmas season, let’s remember to truly prepare Him room. Let’s prepare Him so much room that our imperfections, inconsistencies and weaknesses are lost in the shadow of Him. Let’s prepare Him so much room that our hearts have to grow three times their size.

Let’s focus on the why instead of the what.

Let’s take our little, imperfect and bare trees and allow Him to be seen through them.

That’s the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown.

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