“I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess”

“I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess”



Charlie Brown: “I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents, sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy.”


What’s the meaning of Christmas?

It really is a simple question, but as I found out from watching ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’, the answer is much deeper than I expected.

“I just don’t understand Christmas,” Charlie Brown laments. Well, that’s because of all the mixed messages surrounding this holiday. From Black Friday sales to mall Santas to driving past all the houses with their over-the-top decorations, the message of Christmas can seem quite confusing.

When Charlie Brown goes to Lucy’s Psychiatric Help stand (5 cents) to ask about why he’s feeling so depressed this time of year, she tells him to just get involved and direct the school’s Christmas play. Lucy goes on to tell him that she doesn’t like Christmas because all she gets is toys when what she really wants is REAL ESTATE (can you believe that because I sure can’t!).

Charlie Brown then notices Snoopy furiously decorating his doghouse. What’s going on? Snoopy hands Charlie Brown a flyer titled “Find the True Meaning of Christmas: Neighborhood Lights & Display Contest, WIN MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!” Again, Charlie Brown laments, “my own dog, gone commercial.”

Next, Sally comes along to ask for her big brother’s help in writing a letter to Santa. While dictating her long list of toys that she wants Santa to bring her, she ends up saying that if the list is too long, he can just send her money: preferably $10s and $20s.

As the director of the Christmas play, Charlie Brown was told to get a big, fancy aluminum Christmas tree. Instead, he returns with a small, sad, but very real, pine tree. When the other kids show their disappointment in Charlie Brown’s choice of trees, Linus gives his famous speech about the true meaning of Christmas. Charlie Brown finally learns that this season is not only about commercialism, but about the birth of baby Jesus, peace and goodwill towards men, kindness and generosity.

In the end, all the other kids also learn from what Linus said and help turn Charlie Brown’s sad tree into a beautiful Christmas tree. All it needed was a little love. As all kids sing carols around the little tree, Charlie Brown finally experiences the true meaning of Christmas.

In conclusion, I learned from this wonderful show that Christmas is not so much about the “getting”, but more about the “giving.” If you haven’t seen it in a while, I highly recommend you watch it again.

Merry Christmas!


Mizuki Wong is a 9th grader at Mountainside High School. In their free time, they enjoy drawing, animating on YouTube, listening to music and learning about science.