“MERRY CHRISTMAS CHARLIE BROWN!”

MERRY CHRISTMAS CHARLIE BROWN!

By Marci A. Schmitt

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“Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!” by Marci A. Schmitt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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MERRY CHRISTMAS CHARLIE BROWN!

Recently, I ran into the local pharmacy to pick up a prescription for my youngest son.  While waiting for the pharmacist to fill it, I decided to swing down the seasonal aisle filled with Christmas items. Although, I promised myself I would not purchase any more Christmas “BLING” in my lifetime, I stumbled across a treasure isle (aisle).

Lo and behold, several Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts” items were on display.  I fell in love with the “Christmas Spirit” again – a peaceful feeling that I have not felt in some time.

For the past five years, I have had several hardships within my family including myself.  One of these hardships was surviving breast cancer –not once but twice.

When I first heard the words – “You have breast cancer!”  – my world was rocked.  My life, my dreams, my future all came to a screeching halt.  Suddenly, my plans were derailed.  The uncertainty of the unknown, the future, and the diagnosis frightened me.  My most prominent thought and question was:   How much time do I have left?

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Thus for the past five years, it was hard for me to look ahead to a bucket list of items that many of us take for granted such as confirmations, graduations, holidays and yes, Christmas with our families.  Furthermore, once I was diagnosed, trivial things really didn’t matter to me anymore.

Therefore, when I walked down this retail aisle and saw the “Peanuts” gallery of Christmas items, I realized I grew- not just physically for the better, but mentally for the better – since I was diagnosed.  For the first time in a long time, I realized I could exhale – just a little bit.  I realized I felt comfortable to peek into the future.

I wanted to buy this trivial Christmas BLING item.  It was a “Peanuts” Christmas Cuckoo Clock!  It played the “Peanuts Happy Dance” from the cartoon “Charlie Brown’s Christmas!”  For God’s sake, who doesn’t remember that musical tune!  Anyway, Snoopy enters through the doors at the top of the clock on the hour every hour while a short version of the “Happy Dance” plays.

Wow!  I decided to buy this trivial item!  To purchase this clock was – A MAJOR STATEMENT ON HOW FAR I HAD OVERCOME SOME OF MY MENTAL OBSTACLES.  Like Mr. Parker stated in “The Christmas Story” – “It’s a Major Award!”  I felt giddy taking the item to the cash register!

After grabbing the prescription and making my purchase, the clerk stopped me.  She asked me if I had a brother.  I hesitated – puzzled by her question – but responded.  “Yes!  I did!  Or I mean I do!  I mean my older brother passed three years ago from lung cancer.  But I have one older brother still alive!”  I explained.  (Somehow, she recognized me and made the association with my older brother.)  We talked briefly.

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During our conversation, I discovered she knew my brother who had passed.  In fact, she had grown up just down the road from where I grew up on the farm.  After our short conversation, I went on my way.

I hurried home with my new “BLING!”

As I traveled back home, I again realized how lucky I am in so many ways.  I am thankful for all I have and have all I ever need.  Whether my future journey is long or short, I have experienced many wonderful things and people in my life.  (Thank you all for being a part of it!)

Christmas is coming upon us again.  Like Charlie Brown some of us will be hurting or trying to fill our spirits with the true meaning of Christmas.  Maybe, we are missing someone  whom we feel should be near us or know of someone suffering from a personal health crisis.

Of course, I will miss Dad and Mom, Mike and others including relatives and friends who have passed before me – some who may have passed sooner than they should have.

I will also miss those who cannot make it home to share the holidays.

However, as in previous holiday seasons, they will make themselves known in some ways when I least expect it.  They always do.  Like the alarm clock (in one of my previous blogs.)

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For me, “Peanuts” is eternally branded in my Christmas for many reasons.

Whether it’s the childhood memories of watching the cartoon – “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.”

Or my memory of Mom laughing hysterically as Snoopy skated around the ice rink trying to capture Linus’ blanket.

Or a clerk reminiscing about my brother as I purchase “Peanuts” BLING.

Or Charlie Brown reminding each of us what the true meaning of Christmas is.

Life is simple when we remember what and who is important.  It is certainly not about trivial things.

Life is about living each our days to the fullest and to the best of our potential.  ANY ONE can focus on happiness and optimism at least once a day!  All of us can do that no matter what we have on our plates or our agendas.

This year I get to celebrate another birthday and another Christmas.  Amen!

Thus, whether you hear the children sing the hymn “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” as “God and Sinners Wreck in Style” or “God and Sinners Reconcile,” – may you truly understand the true meaning of what Christmas is – GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL GIFT TO US – JESUS – Not Christmas BLING!

God was with me as I traveled through my darkest moments and he ALSO travels with me during my happiest moments.  HE is always there for me …and for you.  Praise HIM and may all of you have a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Celebrate HIS greatest gift – JESUS -this Christmas Season!  A GIFT OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND HOPE FOR ALL OF US!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

P.S.  Below I have inserted a link to Linus reciting the true meaning of Christmas from the cartoon “PEANUTS CHRISTMAS.”  Enjoy!

 

And As Always …MARCH FORTH!

Marci A. Schmitt

LINUS’ CHRISTMAS SPEECH

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