for a soundtrack to play during the special times of your life? I think it has become very apparent what must surely be my Christmas soundtrack. It is the Vince Guaraldi recording for "A Charlie Brown Christmas".
I can't remember a year that this music didn't accompany my Christmas. Every year as my family decorates the tree, someone will disappear into the other room to find and turn on this family favorite. Nothing speaks Christmas to my family like this familiar music.
A few days ago, I spotted a book on one of my book shelves. It called for me to stop whatever I was doing and pull it from the shelf.
It also contains several interviews from principle players in the making of this tradition, including something I had never noticed before: it actually has pictures of the children that provided the voices for the Peanuts characters. I especially loved seeing the special boys that portrayed Charlie Brown and Linus, as I have come to love their sweet, unassuming voices.
So last night, seemingly right on cue, A Charlie Brown Christmas was once again shown on prime time television, as it has been every year since 1965. And even though we have seen it as many times as there have been years that pass, I tuned in again.
I was particularly looking forward to watching it this time because I had this newly-reviewed inside knowledge of how this classic was produced. And just as it has become with A Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, I know every line by heart, anticipating every inflection, every pause, every exclamation.
Aaaaaaaaggghhhhhh! (delivered in my best Charlie Brown) It was ruined! I spoiled it! Can it ever be the same?!
Instead of hearing those classic lines delivered by Charlie Brown and Linus, in my head all I could see were the pictures of those two "real" boys.
So I won't ruin it for you. I won't post pictures of the real boys who provided the real voices.
May it always remain as the makers of this masterpiece intended; the Peanuts characters stepped out of their comic strip world to remind us that even though Christmas seems like it is a big commerical racket, run by a big eastern syndicate, it really is about a miracle in Bethlehem.
"And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
(humming quietly to the tune of Hark the Herald Angels...)