Just Drop the Blanket: The Moment You Never Noticed in A Charlie Brown Christmas by Jason Soroski
We have all probably seen “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at least once, maybe some, more than once. I recently read this article by Jason Soroski about some observations he's made about Linus' part in the story and would like to share some of that article with you. Jason is a musician, pastor, teacher, husband, and homeschooling father of five. “I was in the first grade back when they still performed Christmas pageants in schools (less than 50 years, but still a very long time ago), and our class performed a version of the Charlie Brown Christmas. Since I was kind of a bookworm and already had a blue blanket, I was chosen to play the part of Linus. As Linus, I memorized Luke 2:8-14, and that Scripture has been hidden in my heart ever since. But while working so diligently to learn those lines, there is one important thing I didn’t notice then, and didn’t notice until now.
Right in the middle of speaking, Linus drops the blanket. Charlie Brown is best known for his uniquely striped shirt, and Linus is most associated with his ever-present security blanket. Throughout the story of Peanuts, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally and others, all work to no avail to separate Linus from his blanket. And even though his security blanket remains a major source of ridicule for the otherwise mature and thoughtful Linus, he simply refuses to give it up. Until this moment. When he simply drops it.
In that climactic scene when Linus shares "what Christmas is all about," he drops his security blanket, and I am now convinced that this is intentional. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words, "fear not" (at :39 seconds). Looking at it now, it is pretty clear what Charles Schultz was saying, and it's so simple it's brilliant.
The birth of Jesus separates us from our fears. The birth of Jesus frees us from the habits we are unable (or unwilling) to break ourselves.
The birth of Jesus allows us to simply drop the false security we have been grasping so tightly, and learn to trust and cling to Him instead. Drop the Blanket 2: The Rest of Linus's Story from A Charlie Brown Christmas A few days ago, I wrote down some thoughts about a beautiful moment that has been hidden in plain sight for 50 years in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.
As a pastor, I am thrilled at the encouragement it has given, and as a former literature teacher, I am thrilled that it has started a firestorm of film analysis! Many of you have pointed out that at the end of the scene, Linus picks the blanket back up, and have openly wondered why. After the epic, blanket-dropping recitation of Scripture given by Linus in response to Charlie Brown's quest for meaning, he picks the blanket back up. Isn't that anti-climactic? Why would Linus pick that old security back up after so boldly proclaiming an end to fear? Why does he leave the stage with that security blanket still in his hand? We first must realize that we all carry that same blanket. Just like Linus, we may stand tall in a moment of faith and conviction, a moment when Scripture hidden in our heart comes to life, and all else is flung aside as we experience and proclaim the true freedom and security that only Jesus can give. But at some point, out of habit, we reach down and pick that thing right back up. Faith, while powerful, is also delicate. Linus clearly knows the truth, and clearly proclaims the truth. The knowledge is there and the wisdom is there and the passion is there. So why does he pick it back up? I think the answer is strikingly clear. It is because we all do the same thing. We know. We feel. We proclaim.
Yet we gaze in the mirror one morning to find that tattered old blanket draped over our shoulder yet again. And we realize that we have become so used to it being there that we hardly even noticed it. But that is not where this blanket story ends. The show ends with the Peanuts gang not just singing, but clearly and unquestionably singing in worship. Even the musical style at this point is different from anything else heard previously.The obvious song choice here could have been "O Christmas Tree," the notes of which have already been playing gently in the background. But the focus is no longer the tree. The focus has become bigger than the tree. The focus is Jesus.
With this new focus, the kids instead slide effortlessly into "Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the Newborn King," and what we are now witnessing is essentially an impromptu worship service. But before any of this happens, Linus parts with that blanket yet again, and lays it down for good at the base of that beautiful Christmas tree, just as we should strive to not just lay our blanket down just anywhere, but leave it forever behind us at the foot of that cross, for our own good and the good of others. Linus and friends have moved from speaking truth and hearing truth into a deeper place of worship, where they finally respond to that truth, much like those shepherds who were instructed to "fear not" so very long ago. It is here at the end of the show that Linus lays that blanket down yet again, and this time? He doesn't look back.”