Here’s how I see a perfect Christmas story. It needs to have what I think of as a ‘Linus Moment’
Remember, “It’s Christmas, Charlie Brown.” Poor Charlie Brown, the commercialization of Christmas, the uber decorated dog house, the pitiful little tree. And then, when Charlie Brown is at the end of his rope (as always) Linus comes out and we have that moment.
That wonderful moment when Linus tells Charlie Brown the real meaning of Christmas.
All great Christmas stories have that moment. They’re not all a reading of that classic passage from Luke Ch. 2 which says in part: And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Have any of you watched The Best Christmas Pageant Ever?
With the Herdman’s, that awful family of troublemakers who hijacked the church’s Christmas program. One of the best Linus moments ever when Gladys Herdman cries.
While You Were Sleeping has it in a non-religious fashion. Sandra Bullock objecting to her own wedding and telling her never-to-be husband that she’d fallen in love with his family. . .including his brother. Great moment.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, when the Grinch realizes he couldn’t stop Christmas from coming and his heart grew three sizes that day.
I’m a little weepy thinking about all these. No story, no holiday seems to have this capacity for joy, for richness that doesn’t come from things, all while we are surrounded with things. I think the reason I love stories like this is because I get as caught up in the commercial whirl as anyone. Movies and books with moments like these remind me what it’s all about.
So I wanted that in my Christmas book. A character who’s heart grew three sizes. A tiny voice saying, God bless us everyone. That moment when we all hope we’d be wise enough to abandon our sheep to the wolves and follow a star to where the Christ child lay.
I know, I know, it’s August. It’s 100 degrees outside. Doesn’t matter, like everything else about Christmas, things start early and Cowboy Christmas is releasing in September. So I’m talking about it in now.
A beautiful songstress hiding from danger. A heart-broken cowboy who hates secrets. An evil man obsessed with the wealth he can garner with the singer’s stunning voice.
The Rockies in winter.
Tell me about your favorite ‘Linus Moment’ in a movie or book. Or even in your own life, one of those moments when you remembered the true meaning of Christmas.