The greatest thing about battling chronic illness these past years is that it taught me that shopping is really much better online. The first Christmas I was bedridden I fretted about not being able to get those I loved Christmas gifts.
Of course everyone knew I was worried and tried to console me by saying it didn’t matter. Really? I guess if the Magi got sick and couldn’t make it to the Epiphany that would be okay and it didn’t matter? I don’t believe it.
It isn’t about what you spend but it is about emulating Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar in giving a meaningful gift that symbolized the importance of what they experienced. This is why we give gifts at Christmas. After all it’s a BIRTHDAY, isn’t it?
That first year, long before it became cool to shop online, QVC rescued me along with a few other retailers. The Catholic shopping experience online hadn’t jelled yet or I would have definitely done that. The amazing thing is that I was able to get meaningful gifts and even the wrapping paper etc right down to disposable tape dispensers online. I got great deals and free shipping like crazy.
I thought how out of such a sad experience of having loved ones watching you in your illness was that I could surprise them with a gift wrapped under the tree! The joy that they received that year was not the actual gifts they received but that I could do that (with a little help from my nurse) and not make myself worse in the process. For a day they forgot that I was so sick and we shared our Christmas like other families.
I must admit I love going out to a store just once to experience the atmosphere but I only go out to get some cards and a new ornament for the tree and do my shopping to this day all online. I put on a fire, turn on the Christmas music, sit up in bed with the computer and do what I still can’t do because of bad heart days.
In my experience of becoming a pro shopper online (If you haven’t signed up for Ebates yet for cash back, email me at email@example.com and I will be glad to explain it and send you a link to sign up) I have found I have discovered gems on the Internet I might have missed otherwise.
One of these gems is the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ who have a Gift Shop online. It’s called Seignadou Soaps & More Monastery Gift Shoppe of the Dominican Nuns of Summit, New Jersey. Believe me, the soaps are the best I ever used and the “MORE” is so much more and as wonderful as the soaps. I am sharing the email they sent me today so that perhaps you will discover that The Cloister Shop is a terrific place to find the perfect gift.,. the best part? You are helping to support the nuns at this beautiful monastery. Two gifts for the price of one.
So here is the info so you can go over there right now and shop! I ask you to click on their ad on the right side of the page as your purchase there helps to defray our costs of paying the domain fee here at Always Catholic. While you go to the right side to click on their ad, please also go to Battle Beads Rosary and Jewelry site for the best in handcrafted Rosaries, Religious and secular jewelry. Both ads are on the right side and you can go straight to their sites from clicking on the ad.
Now to the good stuff:
Seignadou Soaps & More
Monastery Gift Shoppe of the
Dominican Nuns of Summit, New Jersey
Cloister Shoppe Christmas!
Only 12 days left at the Cloister Shoppe! In the monastery the sights and sounds of Christmas begin just a day or two before Christmas but it’s not until after we sing Matins and Midnight Mass and place the Infant Jesus in the crib that the lights are turned on and we listen to Christmas music!
We celebrate Christmas for the full 12 days!
But we know that you need to do your Christmas shopping and we hope you will find many special gifts from the Cloister Shoppe!
We know YOU KNOW about our soap…
But did you know about our Candles?….our Pens?…our Catholic books, DVD’s and music CD’s.
NEW! In Medio Ecclesiae: Music (Traditional) for the New Evangelization
Handmade Purpleheart Wood Gold Pen with Stylus
St. Nick Goat’s Milk Soap (Gingerbread scent that is … ahhh!
Christmas Bayberry Shea Butter & Glycerin Soap
Snowflake Guest Soaps
Christmas Pine Goat’s Milk Soap
BAYBERRY JAR CANDLE
Great Catholic Books!
The BEST Real Christmas Tree spray EVER!
Dominic Light of the Church DVD
and much much more…
Use coupon code NATALE and receive a 10% discount off any purchase over $20 until December 17th.
In order that the Nuns can fittingly prepare their hearts and their homes for the coming of the Christ Child The Cloister Shoppe closes at Midnight December 16th.
No further orders will be taken until after Christmas. Any orders placed after December 25th will not be shipped until January 2, 2014.
Thank you for your purchase!
May the Virgin and Her loving Child bless you!
Your Dominican Nuns
This is just a SAMPLE of the beautiful gifts which can be purchased from the nuns. The quality of their handmade items could be sold in the most exclusive shops in NY or LA. the packaging and presentation are as stunning as the items. Truly a pearl online! Now go now and save yourself time, gas, money and know that your gifts will be so appreciated and that the nuns will also be very grateful for your support.
“The King Who is to come; O come let us adore Him.”
4th Day: FURTHER CLAIMS OF OUR KING
Jesus Christ is our King and Lord, and we are His subjects; nay, we belong to Him as His property and possession, because He has purchased us for a great price. The price He has paid is not gold or earthly treasure. It is nothing less than His own precious blood, of which He shed the last drop upon the Cross as the price of our redemption. Each drop of that blood had a greater value than all things that are in Heaven and on earth: yet our King gave it all, and at the cost of pain and anguish unspeakable, that we poor miserable wretches might be His loyal servants, instead of the slaves of the devil. Hence we belong entirely to Him, absolute, complete submission is our duty and our privilege.
Our King also has dominion over us as members of His mystical Body, the Church which He has founded, and which He has joined to Himself as His mystical Spouse. Inasmuch, then, as we belong to the Church, we claim Him as our Sovereign, and we also share in all the gifts and all the privileges that He has communicated to His holy Spouse. As the Church obeys Him, so ought we to do; as she can never be unfaithful to Him in the very smallest detail, so ought our devotion to enter into every action.
Our King also rules over us by our free choice. We chose Him at our Baptism by the voice of our Sponsors; we chose Him at our Confirmation by our own free will; we choose Him by each prayer we offer, each hymn we utter in His honor, each aspiration we make to Him to guide and help us, each time we cry out to Him, My Lord and My God! Once again, 0 Christ my Lord, I freely choose Thee as the King to rule my heart, my
will, my intellect, my whole self.
Mystery of Advent: The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger, 1870
We find that this mystery of the Coming, or Advent, of Jesus is at once simple and threefold. It is simple, for it is the one same Son of God that is coming; it is threefold, because he comes at three different times and in three different ways. “In the first Coming,” says St. Bernard, “He comes in the flesh and in weakness; in the second, He comes in spirit and in power; in the third, He comes in glory and in majesty; and the second Coming is the means whereby we pass from the first to the third (Fifth Sermon for Advent).”
This, then, is the mystery of Advent. Let us now listen to the explanation of this threefold visit of Christ, given to us by Peter of Blois, in his third Sermon de Adventu: “There are three Comings of our Lord; the first in the flesh, the second in the soul, the third at the judgment. The first was at midnight, according to those words of the Gospel: At midnight there was a cry made, Lo the Bridegroom cometh! But this first Coming is long since past, for Christ has been seen on the earth and has conversed among men. We are now in the second Coming, provided only we are such as that He may thus come to us; for He has said that if we love Him, He will come unto us and will take up His abode with us. So that this second Coming is full of uncertainty to us; for who, save the Spirit of God, knows them that are of God? They that are raised out of themselves by the desire of heavenly things, know indeed when He comes; but whence He cometh, or whither He goeth, they know not. As for the third Coming, it is most certain that it will be, most uncertain when it will be; for nothing is more sure than death, and nothing less sure than the hour of death. When they shall say, peace and security, says the Apostle, then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape. So that the first Coming was humble and hidden, the second is mysterious and full of love, the third will be majestic and terrible. In His first Coming, Christ was judged by men unjustly; in His second, He renders us just by His grace; in His third, He will judge all things with justice. In His first, a Lamb; in his last, a Lion; in the one between the two, the tenderest of Friends (De Adventu, Sermo III).”
The holy Church, therefore, during Advent, awaits in tears and with ardour the arrival of her Jesus in His first Coming. For this, she borrows the fervid expressions of the Prophets, to which she joins her own supplications. These longings for the Messias expressed by the Church, are not a mere commemoration of the desires of the ancient Jewish people; they have a reality and efficacy of their own,–an influence in the great act of God’s munificence, whereby he gave us His own Son. From all eternity, the prayers of the ancient Jewish people and the prayers of the Christian Church ascended together to the prescient hearing of God; and it was after receiving and granting them, that He sent, in the appointed time, that blessed dew upon the earth, which made it bud forth the Savior.
The Church aspires also to the second Coming, the consequence of the first, which consists, as we have just seen, in the visit of the Bridegroom to the Spouse. This Coming takes place, each year, at the feast of Christmas, when the new birth of the Son of God delivers the faithful from that yoke of bondage, under which the enemy would oppress them (Collect for Christmas Day). The Church, therefore, during Advent, prays that she may be visited by Him who is her Head and her Spouse; visited in her hierarchy; visited in her members, of whom some are living, and some are dead, but may come to life again; visited, lastly, in those who are not in communion with her, and even in the very infidels, that so they may be converted to the true light, which shines even for them. The expressions of the Liturgy which the Church makes use of to ask for this loving and invisible Coming, are those which she employs when begging for the coming of Jesus in the flesh; for the two visits are for the same object. In vain would the Son of God have come, eighteen hundred years ago, to visit and save mankind, unless he came again for each one of us and at every moment of our lives, bringing to us and cherishing within us that supernatural life, of which He and his Holy Spirit are the sole principle.
But this annual visit of the Spouse does not content the Church; she aspires after a third Coming, which will complete all things by opening the gates of eternity. She has caught up the last words of her Spouse, Surely, I am coming quickly (Apoc. xxii. 20); and she cries out to him, Ah! Lord Jesus! come (Ibid)! She is impatient to be loosed from her present temporal state; she longs for the number of the elect to be filled up, and to see appear, in the clouds of heaven, the sign of her Deliverer and her Spouse. Her desires, expressed by her Advent Liturgy, go even as far as this: and here we have the explanation of those words of the beloved Disciple in his prophecy: The nuptials of the Lamb are come, and his Spouse hath prepared herself!
But the day of this His last Coming to her, will be a day of terror. The Church frequently trembles at the very thought of that awful judgment, in which all mankind is to be tried. She calls it “a day of wrath,” on which, as David and the Sibyl have foretold, the “world will be reduced to ashes; a day of weeping and fear.” Not that she fears for herself, since she knows that this day will for ever secure to her the crown, as being the Spouse of Jesus; but her maternal heart is troubled at the thought that, on the same day, so many of her children will be on the left hand of the Judge, and, having no share with the elect, will be bound hand and foot, and cast into the darkness,where there shall be everlasting weeping and gnashing of teeth. This is the reason why the Church, in the Liturgy of Advent, so frequently speaks of the Coming of Christ as a terrible Coming, and selects from the Scriptures those passages, which are most calculated to awaken a salutary fear in the mind of such of her children as may be sleeping the sleep of sin.
This, then, is the threefold mystery of Advent. The liturgical forms in which it is embodied, are of two kinds: the one consists of prayers, passages from the Bible, and similar formulae, in all of which, words themselves are employed to convey the sentiments which we have been explaining; the other consists of external rites peculiar to this holy time, which, by speaking to the outward senses, complete the expressiveness of the chants and words.
“The King Who is to come; O come let us adore Him.”
3rd Day: FURTHER CLAIMS OF OUR KING
Jesus Christ has also received the sovereignty of the world, not merely by way of inheritance, but as having had it entrusted to Him by His Eternal Father, and placed in His hands with full authority to wield it. “The Father loveth the Son, and has given all things into His hand,” are the words of our Lord Himself. “Thou hast set Him over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast subjected all things under His feet,” are the words of the Psalmist referring to our Lord. I therefore am in the hands of Jesus Christ; how happy should I be to have so good a Master.
Our King is also King by conquest. He has fought and vanquished the foe who had gained possession of the King’s territory, the Prince of this world, whom our King utterly routed by His Passion and by Death. He has trampled him under His feet, and the regions he had usurped have become the kingdoms of our Lord. Henceforth we have no reason to fear the usurper and all his supporters. We have only to meet them boldly in the Name of our King, and they will fly in terror.
Our King also holds His Kingdom by this very excellence as one whose nature gives Him a right to rule. His place among the sons of men is naturally that of their King; He is of necessity supreme over them, “inasmuch as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.” He rises above all mankind not merely as a giant among pigmies, but as a mountain among the grains of sand which make up the dust of the plains. Admire the natural dignity and majesty of Christ our King.
BEFORE THE STEADY STREAM of Emmy Awards and Grammy nominations and Oscar consideration came The Idea — the one that producer-director Lee Mendelson, nearly a half-century later, calls with a certain zest “the best idea I’ve had in my entire life.”
“I’d just made a documentary about the best baseball player in the world,” Mendelson tells Comic Riffs, referring to his award-winning NBC work about Willie Mays. “So I decided to make a documentary about the worst baseball player in the world.”
That, naturally, would be Charlie Brown. Mendelson read a “Peanuts” strip about the perennially losing hurler and thought: Why not make a documentary about the cartoon’s creator?
It turned out to be the best pitch Mendelson ever made.
Mendelson called fellow Northern California resident Charles Schulz — “his phone number was listed right in the book,” the producer recalls — and proposed the documentary. Fortunately, Mendelson says, Schulz had seen “A Man Named Mays” and liked it. “Sure, come on up,” Schulz replied, so Mendelson motored up from San Francisco to Sebastopol and right there in the heart of wine country, the inspired ideas began to ferment and a 38-year friendship and creative partnership took root.
(Charlie Brown Christmas / courtesy of Peanuts Worldwide)
By 1965, the two men — working with veteran Disney and Warner Bros. animator Bill Melendez — collaborated on their first work, the holiday special “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” a TV show that took chances and defied certain conventions (eschewing even a laugh track) and, ultimately, remained utterly authentic to the trio’s collective vision.
The debut of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” would capture not only the Emmy and Peabody awards, but also roughly half the people watching television across America. And its place in the nation’s holiday hearth has remained fixed ever since. As the special celebrates its [47th] anniversary this week — and the strip enjoys its 61th year — ABC airs the “Peanuts” special tonight for the first time of the season.
As viewers tune in to see a sparse and wilting “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” — a conifer embodiment of “Chuck’s” hard-luck seasonal mood that soon entered our national vernacular — a question about this beguilingly humble cartoon perseveres: Why, precisely, does ”A Charlie Brown Christmas” endure?
THE SUBTLE POWER OF ‘PEANUTS’
“I think it has to do with the impact that ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ had on the viewer when he or she first saw it,” Jean Schulz, the late cartoonist’s wife and shepherd of the “Peanuts” estate, tells Comic Riffs. “It might have been as a child sitting with parents. Or it might have been adults in their 40s or 50s who were delighted to see a meaningful, adult-themed show that brushed aside the platitudes that surround public dialogue and then passed this on to their children and grandchildren.
“I think,” she emphasizes, “these first impressions are very important to us.”
In his recent autobiographical book “Manhood for Amateurs,” the Pulitzer-winning novelist Michael Chabon wrote of the “Peanuts” special’s lasting appeal.
“That show, in its plot, characters, and perhaps above all in its music,” Chabon tells Comic Riffs, “captures an authentic bittersweetness, the melancholy of this time of year, like no other work of art I know.”
“Mother Goose and Grimm” creator Mike Peters worked with Mendelson on a ’90s animated series based on Peters’ strip. To Peters, the greatness of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” springs eternal.
“There has not been a Christmas that we or one of our kids hasn’t bought a sad, pathetic ‘Charlie Brown Christmas tree,’ “Peters tells Comic Riffs. “The smallest, most scrawny tree we could find for some cherished place in our home.
“Sparky [Schulz], Mendelson and Melendez have touched something deep in our American soul with ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’ “ the Pulitzer-winning cartoonist continues. “As with any great piece of art, as many times that you see it , you take away something new. The humor, the heart, the laughter and the tears.
KISSED BY KISMET
Lee Mendelson smiles like a man who believes in serendipity.
“I’ve never actually looked up the word in the dictionary,” Mendelson, 78, says with a laugh, “but yes, I believe in serendipity. I had it with ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’ and it continued for 40 more years. It’s happened too often not to believe in it.”
(Mendelson and I first met in October of 2010 when he came to the National Portrait Gallery for a “Peanuts” 60th anniversary celebration and Charles Schulz portrait unveiling. Were it not for a series of seeming coincidences, I should note, we would not have lunched in D.C. and discussed the origins of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”)
Part of the magic of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Mendelson says this week, is the evocative appeal of the music. It was in 1963 that the producer was in a car heading across the Golden Gate Bridge when he heard Vince Guaraldi’s “Cast Your Fate to the Wind.”
Mendelson was struck by the jazz track and contacted Guaraldi, who happened to be a fellow San Franciscan. The producer hired Guaraldi for the planned documentary, and soon after got a call from the composer.
“He said, “I’ve got to play this thing for you,’ ” Mendelson recounts. “I said, ‘I hate to hear it over the phone,’ but he insisted. He played [what became] ‘Linus and Lucy.’ It was jazz for adults but still had a childlike quality.
“Right then, I had the weirdest feeling, the strangest thought: that someday, this music is going to have an effect on my life.”
STOPS & SUDDEN STARTS
Mendelson and Schulz’s first collaboration was the planned documentary, which featured the cartoonist drawing and discussing “Peanuts.” The strip launched in October 1950 in only a handful of newspapers, but by 1963 had amassed a large national following. The two men shopped their new project to agencies but, to the producer’s surprise, they couldn’t land a buyer.
Stymied, Mendelson took industrial production jobs to pay the bills. He had worked at the Bay Area station KPIX-TV after graduating from Stanford in 1954, and had rapidly become a veteran of documentary filmmaking: His film on the 1915 San Francisco World’s Fair, “The Innocent Fair,” had led to a “San Francisco Pageant” series that won a Peabody Award. Buoyed by that success, Mendelson left the station to hang out the shingle of his own production company.
Yet one thing Mendelson had never attempted was animation.
Early in 1965, however, Coca-Cola came calling. Executive John Allen — whom Mendelson calls “the hero who had kept the flame burning” — remembered the “Peanuts” pitch of two years prior. Now, he had a counter pitch.
“Charlie Brown was getting huge by April 1, 1965, when Time magazine put ‘Peanuts’ on its cover,” Mendelson says. “We got a call from [ad agency] McCann Erickson, which had Coca-Cola as a client. … They weren’t interested in a documentary, but they said: ‘Have you and Mr. Schulz considered doing a Charlie Brown Christmas show?’
“Of course I said, ‘Yes.’ “
Mendelson called Schulz with the pitch: “There was a long pause — it felt like an hour, though it was probably five seconds. Then Sparky said, ‘Okay, come on up.’ ”
(Peanuts Worldwide & United Media) )
BIRTH OF THE COOL
Charles Schulz was long viewed as a man plagued by anxiety, self-doubt and fear of rejection. Yet when it came to the production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Mendelson says, Schulz was the epitome of confidence and assured cool.
After the initial call to Mendelson, Coca-Cola and McCann Erickson were going to make their decision in one week’s time. Translation: In an era when Western Union was their fastest form of written communication, Mendelson and Schulz had only a few days to cobble together an outline.
They immediately brought aboard Melendez, who several years earlier worked with Schulz on a Ford account featuring “Peanuts.” Melendez — who had never headed the animation of a full-length cartoon — flew up from Southern California. On the clock, the collaboration moved swiftly.
“Schulz’s first thought was to have this revolve around a Christmas play,” Mendelson says. “He also said we should have some winter scenes, outdoor scenes. We also talked about the music: We would have some Beethoven, some traditional, and Schulz had liked so much of the music Guaraldi had written for the documentary.
“I had read ‘The Pine Tree’ by Hans Christian Andersen and threw out the idea of decorating this ‘ugly duckling’ of a tree,” Mendelson continues. “And Bill suggested that we animate some kind of dance sequence and we wanted to have them skate. All these ideas were flying around with no form, all in about an hour.”
Schulz wrote an outline that day. “And that was pretty much what we did,” Mendelson says. “Ninety percent of the show was out of whole cloth.”
Days later, Coca-Cola bought the project. Now the creative trio’s work really began.
THE GOSPEL OF ‘PEANUTS’
Charles Schulz insisted on one core purpose: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” had to be about something. Namely, the true meaning of Christmas. Otherwise, Schulz said, “Why bother doing it?”
Mendelson and Melendez asked Schulz whether he was sure he wanted to include Biblical text in the special. The cartoonist’s response, Mendelson recalls: “If we don’t do it, who will?”
To Coca-Cola’s credit, Mendelson says, the corporate sponsor never balked at the idea of including New Testament passages. Neither, he says, did the network execs. The result — Linus’s reading from the Book of Luke about the meaning of the season — became “the most magical two minutes in all of TV animation,” the producer says.
In writing about the “Peanuts” special in “Manhood for Amateurs,” Chabon — a self-described Jewish “liberal agnostic empiricist” — shared: “I still know that chapter and verse of the Gospel of Luke by heart, and no amount of subsequent disillusionment with the behavior of self-described Christians, or with the ongoing progressive commercialization that in 1965 had already broken Charlie Brown’s heart, has robbed the central miracle of Christianity of its power to move me the way any truly great story can.”
Mendelson also credits part of the power of the scene to child voice actor Christopher Shea, whose tone of wise innocence, the producer says, fits the moment perfectly. And Peter Robbins — the original voice of Charlie Brown — tells Comic Riffs that he believes Shea’s reading is one of the most magical moments ever in animation.
Several years earlier, young voice actors were cast as “Peanuts” characters for a Ford commercial — this at a time when adult actors were typically cast to voice animated children. “They were 6 or 7 years old when they made the commercial,” Mendelson says of the “Peanuts” actors, “and now they were 10 or 11. But they were still the best voices.” (Melendez, meantime, was drafted to voice the sounds of Snoopy, which were speeded up by 10 times the rate at which they were recorded.)
“We needed an innocent voice for Linus, and a more ‘blah’ voice for Charlie Brown,” Mendelson says. “Once we recorded the kids, I knew we had something strong — especially when the Linus actor read from the Bible.”
With the national network debut just weeks away, Mendelson and Melendez were convinced they were going to become the guys who turned “Peanuts” the national treasure into an animated flop. Says the producer: “We thought we’d ruined Charlie Brown.”
“It was four weeks before we would be delivering ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ to CBS in New York” for broadcast,” Mendelson tells Comic Riffs. “Melendez and I joined a group of about 10 animators into a small room to see the first complete cut of the show.
((ABC / Peanuts Worldwide & United Media) )
“When it was finished, it was very quiet in the run,” he continues. ”Bill and I were concerned that it seemed slow and that perhaps wasn’t going to be received very well. Others in the room were less than enthusiastic.
“However, on animator in the back of the room stood up and said: ’You guys are nuts — this is going to run for years and years.’ “
(Mendelson notes that he noticed that Schulz’s name was misspelled in the closing credits as “Schultz” — “a bad omen that needed to be fixed right away,” he says — and that the closing credits were white over a snowy background, rendering them nearly illegible — “too costly to change; we had already gone way over budget.”)
So much had come together in a matter of months, including the opening theme. Mendelson thought that perhaps the opening ice-skating scene was too slow and that that it might help created a bigger beginning if the scene’s Vince Guaraldi track had lyrics. All the songwriters they turned to were currently busy, though, so in desperation, Mendelson sat at the kitchen table and wrote a poem in 10 minutes, he says.
The result: “Christmas Time Is Here.”
“The words just came to me,” Mendelson says. In short order, a Bay Area children’s choir was hired to sing the enduring tune that has been covered by a range of artists, including Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Barry Manilow and Sarah McLachlan.
At one point, McCann Erickson executive Neil Reagan — brother of the future president — was dispatched to San Francisco to check on the show’s progress. The genial ad exec was not encouraged by what he saw but much to the animation team’s gratitude, Mendelson says, Reagan kept a tight lip on his opinions when he returned to the agency.
Finally, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was screened for CBS executives — who promptly didn’t get it. “They didn’t get the voices. They didn’t get the music. They didn’t get the pacing,” Mendelson recalls. “They said: ‘This is probably going to be the last ["Peanuts" special]. But we’ve got it scheduled for next week, so we’ve got to air it.’ ”
On Dec. 9, 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” debuted. The special garnered glowing reviews. And half the United States tuned in.
“The next morning, I walked into my neighborhood coffee shop,” says Mendelson, referring to Towle’s Cafe in Burlingame, Calif., “and everyone was congratulating me. That’s when I knew we might have something.”
The next year, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” received a Peabody Award, as well as an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program. The irony, Mendelson notes, is that Schulz always wrote “Peanuts” with an adult audience in mind — but with enough warmth and distilled emotion and universality that the feature appealed to kids.
The Christmas special also kicked off a creative partnership among Schulz, Mendelson and Melendez that spanned 38 years, dozens of specials and multiple Emmys before Schulz died in 2000.
And still, the meaning of a “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” continues to burn bright in America’s homes.
“Bravo for the [49th] year. … “ Mike Peters says. “I know it will be as fresh and funny and touching  years from now.
(“Charlie Brown Christmas” / courtesy of PEANUTS Worldwide)
“The King Who is to come; O come let us adore Him.”
2nd Day: OUR KING’S CLAIM TO SOVEREIGNTY
Jesus Christ, as God, has an absolute right to our unfailing and universal obedience. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and every created being in Heaven and on earth is bound to carry out His Divine will in all things. We owe Him homage and adoration as the continual and unceasing tribute to which He has a right by virtue of His supreme Majesty. He is the Lord our God, and we are His servants. His handmaidens, the sheep of His pasture. Rejoice in being subject to such a King, adore His Majesty, and fall down at His feet and promise Him obedience in every detail of your life.
Jesus Christ has also an unlimited claim on us as our Creator. “By Him all things were made.” Now creation gives the most perfect title to ownership that exists; nothing is so completely ours as that which we in some sense create. Hence we belong entirely to our King. We are His absolute property and possession. We have no rights of our own in opposition to His. His rights over us, over all that we call ours, over our body and our soul, are all-embracing. We shall therefore, if we are wise, put ourselves and all our faculties, especially our will, to Him to do with us as He pleases.
Jesus Christ is also our King as being the heir of the Eternal Father. God has appointed Him, says St. Paul (Heb. i. 2), heir of all things. He has the right of inheritance, Man though he is, to all the glory and all the dominion of the Eternal Father. He entered on His inheritance when He trampled on sin and on death. No wonder, then, that St. Paul says: “All things are ours; and we are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.” We inherit God’s good things as subjects of Christ our King.
One day while reading a colleague's blog, I was moved by his "raison d'etre"The quote from Thomas Storck, [The Catholic Milieu] struck a resonant chord within me. I have forever reasoned that all we do in life must be "Always Catholic" and here, finally was the succinct explanation. "Our entire daily lives cannot be occupied with purely religious practices;all of us have to eat, and most of us have and want to do many other activities besides. So though we cannot always be religious in this sense, we can always be Catholic, that is, the round of our daily activities can be conducted in such a way as to express and be in harmony with our Faith. And [this] can involve more than avoiding sin and exercising virtue.”