Thursday, December 27, 2007

Peanuts: The Meaning of Christmas

I grew up with Charles Schulz's Peanuts. Charlie Brown, his pet beagle Snoopy, Woodstock, Sally Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder were memorable characters. Their adventures (and misadventures) are forever etched in my memory. I remember watching the animated TV specials in beta tapes with my siblings. Among my favourites are: Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1975) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965).

I recently came across this clip where Linus did a monologue on the meaning of Christmas:

Linus was my favourite character largely due to him being unusually smart and also he is never without his blue security blanket. Hence, I named my first pet cat, Linus. A clip I also remembered from Be My Valentine, was Sally's (who was in love with Linus) recitation of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 43 (Sonnets from the Portuguese). This got me interested in reading poetry.

In hindsight, the appeal of Peanuts was that somehow the characters understood how serious childhood is to a child. It is a time of pleasure and secret anxieties, of hope and dread, of fun and hurt and of friendship and cruelty. It's a pity that kids nowadays do not get to enjoy the company of the likes of the Peanuts gang (or Calvin and Hobbes, Asterix and Obelix). As with Charles Schulz, who understood how childlike most grownups feel inside, we should never let go of our sense of childhood.

P.S.(02 January 2008): Funny post as seen at Fortify Your Oasis on the Spirit of the Season:

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