Winter Trees.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

My favorite part of A Charlie Brown Christmas is the tree—that sad, stunted little tree that I’m pretty sure was just a branch of a larger tree that fell off and that someone nailed to a couple of boards and then placed it in the sale knowing some sucker could be conned into buying it.

I didn’t mean to get quite so dark there. Really it’s the sadness of the tree that’s its charm, which is what I think Charlie Brown sees in it. He sees something that, like him, has a good heart in spite of its outward grotesque and misshapen appearance.

I didn’t mean to get quite so dark there. The point is he takes that tree because he realizes it needs love.

Also I like to think he picked it up because this was just a school play and probably extremely poorly funded so it’s all he could afford. I imagine there was a scene left on the cutting room floor where the other kids are complaining about the tree and Charlie Brown snaps, “Okay, it looks like crap, but it was twenty-percent off!” But that’s another story.

When I speculated about the symbolism of why evergreens are always picked to be Christmas trees there was an element I forgot: appearance. If you wanted to bring something into your house and decorate it you wouldn’t pick a deciduous tree with only a few dry brown leaves clinging to its skeletal branches even if it made symbolic sense. But I think the trees that lose all their leaves and sleep through the winter deserve attention, even deserve a little love, too. Apparently I’m not the only one.

wintertree1

wintertree2

6 Comments

  1. Ann Koplow

    You didn’t mean to get quite so dark there, Chris, and you didn’t. Thanks for lighting up my morning with the ornament of yet another deserving-of-attention and lovable post.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m glad to bring a little more light into your mornings, especially at this time of year when dawn comes later.

      Reply
  2. mydangblog

    The soundtrack to that Christmas special is my favourite thing to play this time of year. Then I dance like Snoopy:-)

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Dancing like Snoopy is a wonderful thing. He’s a role model for us all.

      Reply
  3. Arionis

    I always felt sorry for that sad little Charlie Brown tree. We actually have an artificial replica of that tree that we put as the centerpiece on our kitchen table during the holidays. It even has a little button on one of the boards that plays the theme music when you push it.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’ve seen those replicas in catalogs. I didn’t realize they played the theme music too. That makes them fun although I thought the replicas kind of undermine the point that there are lots of real little trees out there that need some love.

      Reply

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