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Maybe Christmas is about…

It was Christmas time and Charlie Brown was tired, concerned and pleased.

It had been a stress-filled year for him and his pals. He missed seeing his friends on a regular basis and, even though, a couple of them were stinkers, boy, did he miss them! And, along with that loneliness, he was tired.

He was fatigued because he couldn’t see happiness. He wasn’t able to play baseball this year — even if his team had yet to win a ballgame. He missed it and that missing made him feel listless. He wasn’t even sure if he would be able to try to kick Lucy’s football this year — he just didn’t have the energy.

On top of all his insecurities, he wondered if he was the only one having such feelings. He felt good about wearing the mask. After all, that was to protect his friends and he was fine with doing it. But, that little bit of feeling fine didn’t cover his tiredness — his loneliness.

Joining that tired and lonely feeling was his concern for his friends. Yes, they could talk via technology but it just wasn’t the same as leaning on the sidewalk wall and chatting with Linus or whomever. He wasn’t able to visit his psychiatrist, Lucy, and get her pokes and advice. How were Peppermint Patty and Franklin? Are they weathering this darn viral situation alright? Has Pig Pen taken a bath yet? Is Schroeder taking piano lessons now? He knew his sister, Sally, was feeling like him and he worried about his canine pal, Snoopy and his bird friend Woodstock.

He worried about them and decided to contact each of them individually to see how and what they were doing during this time of national concern.

He contacted Linus.

Linus was always Charlie Brown’s alter ego and Linus didn’t disappoint him. They chatted for a bit and Charlie Brown asked how Linus was getting through this period of isolation. Linus’ response made so much sense and it brought a smile to Charlie Brown’s face.

“How am I getting along?” Linus asked. “I am facing each day with positivity and by helping others less fortunate than myself. I pack food for hungry kids, write notes to them and draw funny faces so they can laugh. My parents deliver the food and, as I sit in the car, I wave to my new but unnamed friends. The local food shelf is an awesome place — why don’t you join me packing food boxes one day, Charlie Brown?”

Not only did Charlie Brown smile but tears formed in his eyes.

During the rest of the day, he contacted each of his pals and his tiredness and concern turned into a sense of being pleased.

He discovered Lucy has been donating time and effort to help folks with mental health issues. Her voice — even if she was a stinker sometimes — was so positive sounding and soothing. Obviously, her time spent in her psychiatrist’s booth had been fruitful and Charlie Brown no longer felt used for giving her five cents for each of his sessions.

Pig Pen had been planting gardens and helping to plant new trees in the neighborhood park. He was very concerned about taking care of our environment. When Peppermint Patty discovered how few people were visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame, she began to gather baseball gear and would sell it from her little front yard booth and then donate the money to the facility.

Charlie Brown felt his heart growing larger with each conversation.

His pianist friend, Schroeder, was giving virtual presentations and seeking donations for the local symphony orchestra. His playings of Beethoven’s music were huge successes. Franklin was active in social justice issues and, via his laptop, urged people to stand up for those who are suppressed or oppressed in anyway.

Yes, Charlie Brown still felt a bit tired and concerned but now the pleasing actions of his pals led him down a newly discovered path. He began to think how he could help other kids who felt tired and concerned and, he was pleased to realize he could lean upon his friends for help.

He walked into the backyard where Snoopy’s dog house was located and he noticed Woodstock sitting on the roof. He smiled and laughed. Suddenly, Snoopy bounded out of his house, jumped into Charlie Brown’s arms and they gave each other a big hug. Woodstock settled gently upon Charlie Brown’s shoulder and sang a soft tune to them.

At that moment, Charlie Brown knew that,if Christmas was truly a time for sharing, caring, hope, giving, having faith, giving warmth and happiness, then we are all one.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

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