The Friday Morning Listen: Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

My favorite part of this season, media wise, has always been that speech that Linus gives during A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s about the true meaning of Christmas, though obviously, the idea there was to push back against the rampant commercialism of the holiday. Still, it’s interesting that a completely non-religious person such as myself can find so much meaning in that one moment.

Maybe it’s because I grew up with Peanuts. Adding to that is the tradition of Christmas itself. As I grew older, the religious meaning of it faded into the background, with the idea of family getting together taking on a more prominent role. All of these years later, that still holds true. Though the family is inevitably smaller, we will still gather to celebrate what’s important.

However people choose to celebrate, that time is upon us. But even with the rise of all of those good and hopeful feelings, there remains a segment of the population that is determined to just screw everything up. They will on the one hand, espouse their love of “God and Country,” but will then support all manner of action (and inaction) that results in the least God-like outcomes.

This might be a strange issue to be taken up by a non-believer, but wrong is wrong. I will not name names, because they deserve not a single extra iota of recognition. The political figures, their media enablers, their social media supporters…they are all to blame. Maybe they’ll find a package of self-awareness under the tree. I doubt it, but I remain hopeful.

Naming names? I’ve changed my mind. I think I will:

Nils Lofgren – for his affiliation with tunes4food, working to end hunger

Moby – for his work with dog adoption

Cristen Sawyer – for her inspiring work at the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers

Chef Tom Colicchio – for his tireless efforts focusing on hunger and ramifications of reducing SNAP benefits

Dear friends Tyler Brown and Meg Olsen – for providing foster homes for K-nines

TheWife™ – for her work with disadvantaged and troubled teens

And for anybody giving up house to volunteer at local soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

With their actions, however modest, they have made the world a better place for at least one person/being. No pretense. No ulterior motives. Can the “God and Country” people make such claims? I don’t think so…though that won’t stop them.

Merry Christmas, whoever you are.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he writes several weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.