From the Student Ministry….

Nostalgia and Charlie Brown

The youth Christmas Party always has a gift exchange; it always has snacks; and it ALWAYS has Charlie Brown. Traditions crop up in all kinds of ways. Sometimes we plan them with lots of thought and purpose. Other times it’s just because a certain thing was there when the time came. Regardless of how they get there, traditions are kept there by at least two things: duty and nostalgia. 

With Duty comes the responsibility and commitment to adhere to rituals and patterns in spite of whatever comes. It is the unchanging part of tradition that sees it through thick and thin. I dunno why we have magnetic snow man stuck to our fridge every Christmas, but he will continue to show up there until I see glory. 

With Nostalgia comes the connection to our soul. This is what draws us back to the times before, to fond memories and experiences. It is with Nostalgia that we are able to find a spiritual connectedness to things like fruitcake and Charlie Brown. We might not really like fruitcake, but it sure does remind us of our Nanna. Anything that reminds us of Nanna belongs in heaven and at Christmas. 

I had never liked Charlie Brown before Parkway. I appreciated it, sure, but from a distance. After this December I will always have a special place in my heart for Mr. Brown. He has been a staple with the youth since they put on the Charlie Brown Christmas Play years ago. The nostalgia and spiritual meaning are important enough that they carry it forward with them to every Thanksgiving and Christmas. So powerful is this connection that it pulls others, like myself, into the memory and experience anew.

This year’s Christmas Party was a little different. We had on masks and sat apart; we were outside just a little cold; and we ate individually wrapped bags of popcorn or our own candy brought from home. But, we had Charlie Brown and the youth had a secret Santa. I got to see how well they cared for each other. Each youth had researched or planned the gift perfectly. Perhaps my favorite was the joke book given to Owen Dover, who then proceeded to read to us his favorite selections for the next twenty minutes. 

That night I saw God in Charlie Brown. I found fellowship in something I had previously no connection to. I will forever equate Charlie Brown to fond memories and friends. I have the youth to thank for that.


 Merry Christmas (because I refuse to let it go just yet)!