If you rely on News Feed in Facebook to find my posts, you're missing most of them. On average, only 16% of updates in Facebook make it into News Feeds. Let me suggest that you subscribe to me in Facebook, follow me on Twitter (@ccengct), or use an RSS reader.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Christmas Time is Here"

Eight years ago I visited the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, Calif. It was a lot of fun, and yes, I did have the tuna sandwich at the skating rink next door. Peanuts was not my favorite comic strip, but I believe almost everyone in my generation in the USA has deeply embedded memories of it — including its view of Christmas in the television special of 1965.

The show was unconventional in many respects, including the retention of a very sophisticated jazz performer, Vince Guaraldi, for the soundtrack. In his late 30s at the time, he had just finished his groundbreaking work at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in San Francisco. (Most modern jazz masses, which I love, are direct descendants of this performance.) Among the Peanuts pieces, Guaraldi is perhaps best known for Linus and Lucy, but the music goes far beyond that. I especially like his rendition of Christmas Time is Here. It's cheerful and relaxing with a touch of melancholy, and if we are honest we will admit that the holidays are not all sweetness. The full Christmas narrative in Christianity isn't all sweetness, either; and Guaraldi died in his 40s.

(Sorry about that brief ad, it's a fact of life).

Remember, Christmas is not just one day. It's a season that lasts through January 5.