Tag Archives: moms

If We Don’t……Then Who Will?

3 Dec

For nearly 40 years, I have watched the same holiday special on television—A Charlie Brown Christmas. As a child, I would rush to take my bath or shower and get into my pajamas so I could wrap myself in a blanket on the couch and watch it. As a teenager, I watched it with the small kids I babysat while their parents were out at holiday parties. And now, as a parent, I watch it with my own children, cuddled up with me in my bed in their pajamas.

My son kept saying that he didn’t like the show because everyone was always mean to Charlie Brown. Why is everyone so mean to Charlie Brown? Good question. (I love how sensitive he is). I told him he needed to watch it through to the end. I still well-up with tears when all the kids belt out (with their mouths open wider than soccer balls) “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” to Charlie Brown and wish him a Merry Christmas at the end after they fix up his sad little tree.

What struck me this year was the speech Linus gives on the stage explaining the true meaning of Christmas:

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

I hate to say it, but I fear that it is only a matter of time before this show is pulled from network television because of this monologue and its mention of Christ the Lord and God. I know, the horror. That a children’s show, crammed in between commercials brainwashing them with all kinds of toys they should add to their Christmas lists, would dare incorporate a Christian message. It saddens me to say that I have become so disheartened by the “political correctness” of today’s society, that I now actually expect someone, or some group, to petition to ban such programs from broadcast television. A show that has been televised for every year since it was created in 1965 by a brilliant man named Charles Schulz.

Interestingly enough, it turns out that network executives were, in fact, reluctant to include the scene of Linus explaining the story of the birth of Christ. Apparently Charles Schulz was adamant that the scene remain, and said “if we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?” Clearly he won out. The scene stayed.

These days, we worry so much about offending someone that we often compromise our beliefs and values. We are so hung up on being politically correct, we tend to even shy away from talking about, writing about, or creating anything that might be then slightest bit controversial.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a child was sent home (or expelled) from school if he or she showed up with a t-shirt featuring Linus and his Christmas monologue. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Hell no. Not acceptable. Too controversial. God. Peace. Good will. Men. I’m not sure we are still allowed to talk about these things today.

I have always loved Snoopy and the Peanuts gang. I have always had great admiration for Charles Schultz and his creative genius, as well as his humility. He had no qualms about explaining that Charlie Brown’s character was very much like himself—shy and awkward. But learning that he was adamant about keeping this scene in the Christmas special made me even more of a fan. I have a good friend who often says “if not me, then who….” for difficult situations that arise which most people wouldn’t want to deal with. Think, just for a second, about how often that saying taken to heart would be helpful. If I don’t volunteer to help, then who will? If I don’t talk to my kids about bullying, drugs, drinking, etc., then who will? If I don’t stand up for my convictions, then who will? And, in my case, if I don’t tell my story about how I deal with my alcoholism and try to help others, then who will? Would it be easier to keep it quiet and deal with it privately? Yes. Would it have been easier for Schulz to cave to the television executives and remove the scene? Yes.

Charles Schulz would have been 92 last week. When you get lost in the frenzy of the holidays, take a minute and look up the scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas and listen to Linus. It will help you remember what Christmas is really all about. And, I gotta say, watching the kids dance while Schroeder plays the piano, is pretty hilarious.
I never eat December snowflakes. I always wait until January.—Lucy Van Pelt

To My Family on Mother’s Day

9 May
It’s Mother’s Day again, that very special day
We all like to celebrate in our own unique way
Some moms like to spend the day on their own
Some time to regroup, some time all alone
Some go for a picnic in the park with their clan
Some wait for their kids to come up with a plan
Their husbands go out and buy them a gift
Hoping their efforts will give mom a lift
A nice dinner out so we don’t have to cook, 
One day of the year we are let off the hook
Cold coffee and burnt toast delivered in bed
A construction paper crown placed upon my head
Last year was a brewery for Mother’s Day lunch
Not the plan this year, that’s just my hunch
This year I’ll be sober for almost two years
The last thing I’d like is to be surrounded by beers
Flowers are nice, and jewelry is too
But what I actually want, they haven’t a clue
It’s really quite simple, I think you’ll agree
A small list of things you can all do for me
Take out the garbage, pick up your crap
Stop screaming and fighting while I try to just nap
Put your dishes in the sink, or even better yet,
The dishwasher would be a much smarter bet
What’s that? How do you know if it’s dirty or clean?
I’ll tell you it’s easy, and I don’t mean to be mean
Just open the damn door, and take a good look
Are they shiny and clean or covered in gook?
What other questions keep you from doing your part?
Ask me what you need to, I’m really quite smart
Where is the vacuum?  Where is the broom? 
It’s not that hard, they’re in the same room.
You can’t put things away, where do they go? 
If you try really hard, I think you’ll see that you know
You can’t reach? It’s too high to put that away?
Let me introduce you to your friend Mr. Stepladder today.  
But where should I put my lax stick?  My ball?  My glass?
You know where you can put them?  Right up your ….. 
Put your dirty clothes in the hamper, your clean clothes away
And no, that’s not dirty, you wore it for 5 seconds today
Picking up doesn’t mean shove it under your bed
Or hide it away in your closet instead
You ask for a dog, a cute little puppy, 
But you can’t even take care of our poor stinking guppy
It swims in its tank, all covered in green
Waiting for someone to make it all clean
I’ll get right on that, as soon as I’m free, 
2026 looks like that’s when I may be
Put away the cereal, the milk and the bread
No, don’t leave it out “for the next person” instead
Just once do your homework, without being told
Over and over, it gets really old
I’m tired of tripping over your boots and your shoes
The fact that we have closets is really old news
Oh no, by all means, leave those chips on the floor
I’m sure I saw that look featured in this month’s Elle Decor
A bubble bath and a candle and a nice little snack
With little green army guys digging into my back
Or a night on the couch with popcorn and a movie
That gum stuck under the cushion sure feels really groovy
Ok, you know what would be a really good goal? 
My friends Ben and Jerry filled up in a bowl
I’ll just go to the kitchen and get it myself
But wait, there isn’t a clean bowl to be found on the shelf
They’re all in the dishwasher covered in food
It hasn’t been run, now here goes my mood
I’ll just get a spoon and eat the whole thing
I’d rather have ice cream than any more bling
So I open the freezer –the ice cream has all been eaten
For Mother’s Day there will now be a nice family beatin’
I can live without clean floors or a nice empty sink
But there is one thing that will push me right over the brink
You ate my damn ice cream, my Mother’s Day prize
I was really looking forward to it going right to my thighs
That was the last straw, a low blow, a slap in the face
A trip to the spa, now that may be the right place
Just go play your Minecraft, your Sims and your Wii
Don’t worry at all about Mother’s Day for me
You’re really good kids, and I am a lucky mom it’s true
Now go play in the street before I ground you.  


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