I keep seeing Facebook posts with a dubious claim. Sometimes it is a touching story of generosity, sometimes a pretty song. Or maybe it is just a beautiful holiday scene. Whatever it is, it starts or ends with:
This is what Christmas is all about!
Sorry. No, it isn't.
It is all over TV this time of year. I watch way too many Hallmark movies, as I said before. And the main characters of these sappy holiday TV-movies are constantly coming to the brilliant realization that baking cookies with kids is what Christmas is all about. Or that old fashioned decorations is what its all about. Or having coffee with your estranged mother, brother, father, boyfriend. Sometimes it is working with the poor, or gathering with the community to save an historical building, or saving a dog from...whatever.
Now, I am not personally against baking cookies (proof is in my freezer), nor am I against having coffee with anyone, estranged or not. And, of course, I am not against caring for the poor, or saving historical buildings. And I like dogs. Really, I do. Don't own one, but, you know, dogs are fine pets. I don't want anyone to think I am anti-dog.
However....none of these things are "what Christmas is all about".
So now, forget all those other TV characters and listen to Linus.
Actually, I think there is another TV star who said it even better. Venerable Fulton J Sheen tells us what Christmas is all about in his book Life of Christ: