The New Kid in the Audience

 Hi, my name is Scott and I’m a Christmas-aholic. It has been two hours since I last listened to Nat King Cole sing “The Christmas Song.”

I love this season.

I always have.

I look forward to putting up the tree and buying presents (many times I have been known to do this in September and October… the presents, not the tree).

I love the stories that come up each year.  A Christmas Carol is in my opinion one of the few perfect works in literature (Right up there with Pride and Prejudice). Even one of my first fiction creations was a screenplay of an original holiday story. I won’t go into details here about what the script was about but it did NOT include someone like Tim Allen as Santa or some wayward child discovering the meaning of the holiday. C’mon! I’m cooler than that!

I love the music… Well, the classics, let’s be honest a lot of it that is released each year is rubbish. I always put new Christmas music into three categories:

  •  The dying attempt of an artist trying to prove to a record company that they can still turn a profit
  • Those cashing in on a moment’s flitting popularity (Yes, GLEE cast I am looking at you!)
  • Those that actually give a damn on doing something unique with the songs.

And did I mention my wedding anniversary is a few days before Christmas?

So, while I don’t have inflatable Christmas characters waving to people from my lawn, it can be said that they are there in my heart. Which brings me to the problem– I’m not a Christian.

I know, I know, I use the excuse too that Jesus was actually born in the Spring and his birth was moved to December for a popular Roman holiday. And a lot of the traditions around Christmas (trees, candles, etc.) are not Christian, and there is the importance of the winter solstice; but I can’t hide from the fact at its center it’s a religious holiday for many.

Every year I grapple with this issue, wondering if I am being a hypocrite or I am trying to recreate an energy or feeling I felt from back when I did believe in something as a child. And to an entirely new level, I have to think of my son and what I am giving him around this holiday. Most of the focus in the household has been on Santa, but it doesn’t change the fact that someday he is going to ask about the religious aspect of it. Someday, in the future, while watching A Charlie Brown Christmas he is going to ask what Linus is taking about.

And I’m going to need an answer. I need to be that person we don’t see in the cartoon who stands up with hand raised and says:

Excuse me Linus, may I interrupt?… Lights please… There, thank you. Oh, hi Snoopy! I’m a big fan… Anyway, Linus, kids. There are many religions that celebrate around this time of the year. We can’t forget about them. Historically, this point in the year has always meant something for communities and families. Why can’t we all just focus on something we can all agree on? Not divide by saying this is our holiday and this is its meaning so there. This is my recommendation–What matters the most in this world, what makes things bearable in even the worst times, is friends and families. So let’s use this time to celebrate the people that mean something to us, give them a present and a hug, thank them for simply being them. That’s what I think the season should be all about Charlie Brown…. And by the way, Charlie… it is really a crappy tree. Come by my house later and I’ll show you how to do it right.

2 thoughts on “The New Kid in the Audience

  1. I feel ya, it’s hard to keep Christmas secular, but I think society on a whole is going in the right direction. Just explain it to your son the way you do to Snoopy and I think you’ll both be fantastic.

    Unrelated, I re-read Pride and Prejudice every year around this time and I never considered why … I must just been seeking the perfection.

  2. Thanks for the response! I liked your blog on the topic as well!

    Originally, I was thinking of posting the entire entry around the Linus interruption and really, I realized, I only need that short speech (And who wants to confront the Peanuts gang for long! I grew up on Peanuts, they are awesome). And really it can be summed up in a sentence what we would like the holiday to be.

    Pride and Prejudice is a perfect book, period. Jane Austen is one of my hero authors. My current published books don’t refer to her, but I have an entire unpublished book about her.

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