Just Drop the Blanket

419244_1280x720This time last year, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” aired on national prime time television for the 50th time. In a world where the latest greatest technology is outdated in a matter of months, and social media trends come and go in a matter of days, 50 years of anything becomes quite meaningful.

I am a fan of all things nostalgic and all things Christmas, and so when the two are combined I am hooked, and the Charlie Brown Christmas special falls squarely into that category.

I was in the first grade back when they still performed Christmas pageants in schools (less than 50 years, but still a very long time ago), and our class performed a version of the Charlie Brown Christmas. Since I was kind of a bookworm and already had a blue blanket, I was chosen to play the part of Linus. As Linus, I memorized Luke 2:8-14, and that Scripture has been hidden in my heart ever since.

But while working so diligently to learn those lines, there is one important thing I didn’t notice then, and didn’t notice until now.

Right in the middle of speaking, Linus drops the blanket.

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Charlie Brown is best known for his uniquely striped shirt, and Linus is most associated with his ever-present security blanket. Throughout the story of Peanuts, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally and others all work to no avail to separate Linus from his blanket. And even though his security blanket remains a major source of ridicule for the otherwise mature and thoughtful Linus, he simply refuses to give it up.

Until this moment.  When he simply drops it.

In that climactic scene when Linus shares what ‘Christmas is all about’, he drops his security blanket, and I am now convinced that this is intentional. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words, “fear not” (at :38 seconds).

Looking at it now, it is pretty clear what Charles Schulz was saying through this, and it’s so simple it’s brilliant.

The birth of Jesus separates us from our fears.

The birth of Jesus frees us from the habits we are unable (or unwilling) to break ourselves.

The birth of Jesus allows us to simply drop the false security we have been grasping so tightly, and learn to trust and cling to Him instead.

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The world of 2015 can be a scary place, and most of us find ourselves grasping to something temporal for security, whatever that thing may be. Essentially, 2015 is a world in which it is very difficult for us to “fear not”.

But in the midst of fear and insecurity, this simple cartoon image from 1965 continues to live on as an inspiration for us to seek true peace and true security in the one place it has always been and can always still be found.

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75 thoughts on “Just Drop the Blanket

  1. I’ve watched this cartoon since I was probably a 5 year old and loved it for years. Enjoy watching it with my kids each year, too. Yet, I never noticed Linus dropping that blanket before! If you don’t mind, I’m going to reblog this to my post as I think your points are so excellently made and need to be read by more people this Christmas season.

  2. Reblogged this on portraitsbyjenni and commented:
    I read this post yesterday, written by fellow blogger Jason Soroski and thought his points were excellent. Having been a loyal Charlie Brown Christmas viewer for many years, I had never noticed Linus dropping his ever present blanket! Read on for a great message, especially this Christmas season.

  3. When I noticed this subtle little moment, I was certainly excited to write about it! I am glad it is encouraging to others, and honored that you reblogged it. Than
    ks so much!

  4. I absolutely Love “Peanuts” and everything Charles Schultz has accomplished!! We are so blessed because of his genius.

  5. I have loved Peanuts my whole life. I read once that although Charles Schulz considered himself to be Charlie Brown, Linus was certainly his spiritual conscious. I NEVER noticed Linus dropping his blanket. How simple, yet how profound. Thank you for sharing. You have a new fellow blogger who will be following you! Merry Christmas!

  6. Yes! Jesus loves me! And even Linus tells me so. 😍
    I had never noticed in all my Charlie Brown years, but OH, what a message. You never have to worry, be afraid, be anxious, or lose HOPE. Ever. Again.
    Thanks for bringing a simple instance to a great and beautiful light.
    Merry CHRISTmas!

  7. Wait! There may be more to write! Look at Charlie Brown. He is carrying his red coat before and after Linus quotes the Bible scriptures yet while Linus is on stage, you can see Charlie Brown in the background wearing the red coat. I wonder if this, too, has an underlying message.

  8. Oh yes . I think that I caught how confident he is when he shares the good news but I never really thought about how he lets go of what he found security in and held onto the Truth. Love.

  9. What a great observation! Thanks for that — I can use it in a sermon illustration — of course, I’ll reference your quotes!
    –Pastor Scott J. Stone, St. John Lutheran Church,
    and a fellow Linus (I played, danced, and sang his role in college with “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!)

  10. I must have seen this movie a gazillion times, and I’ve honestly never honed in on the fact that Linus drops the blanket. I mean, I noticed it, but I never TOOK notice of it. Amazing. Was Schultz a believer, does anyone know?

  11. Awesome observation! Never had noticed this!!! Yes, in today’s world as well as in any time, what a powerful message to share!!! Thank you!

  12. Jason, this is beautiful! One of my favorite Christmas shows, and now I’ll never watch that part the same way!

    Side note…wondering if you are a fellow RHS grad? 92?

  13. I never noticed this before either, and I am a self-described CBC expert and devotee. However, now that you noticed and pointed it out (which was absolutely brilliant, BTW) it spotlights another scene/action: Linus’s blanket restoring the tree. Linus wrapping his blanket around the base of the little tree (to me) is symbolic of what happens when we stop leaning on the world and give what we have been given to be used to save. The rest of the world may already realize and I arrived late to the party, but it was thought provoking enough for me to share. Thank you again for this beautiful observation during this season!

  14. It’s a nice article, but I don’t think this “blanket theory” was intentional. Only God knows for sure, but based on interviews, Schulz wasn’t a Christian. He claimed to be a “secular humanist.” This would have been a much greater article if the you had simply made the observation and described the allegory without giving Schulz the credit for it. I love the thoughts in this piece, but the pretense isn’t accurate.

  15. I love this so much I would like permission to use it as a close to my Christmas letter which focuses on fear. I will give you & your blog copyright credit. Thank you, Merry Christmas & may God bless you!

  16. This is wonderful. It’s short enough to not stress the reader, it’s nostalgic, it’s deep, it’s warm and cozy, it’s theologically sound, and it touches on truth we all need to hear. I love stuff like this- everyday situations we can all relate to. That’s how I try to write as well! Thank you so much for this! It’s exciting to see others write in this way. I don’t mean to be obnoxiously self-promoting but if you’re interested I just started a new blog at http://www.thedisheveledtheologian.wordpress.com – I’d be honored if you stop by!

  17. Would such a similar scene in a newly created prime time children/adult animation pass the PC filters today? This Charlie Brown Special became a classic, with the Linus monologue, long before 21st century religious censors hit the media. And that is the only reason why it has not been shoved aside or edited. Nothing and no one will ever stop the eternal gospel from being presented to a needy humanity. Good point about the blanket.

    “… for unto us a child is born, to us a son is given… and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace..” Is. 9:6

  18. May I print your article on our church program for our Christmas play? We are presenting “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I love the significance of the blanket, which I had never realized until your explanation. (We have now incorporated it into the play.) ~K. Hamilton, Calvary Baptist Church, Stamps, AR.

  19. You’re absolutely right about Linus and the dropping of the blanket! We have our eternal comfort, while the blanket is an earthly comfort!

  20. I read your post on Facebook, after it was reposted a kazillion times, and buried in ads. So I have come back to the source (that’s you) to share your article on my Facebook page directly from WordPress.

    The simple observation of Linus dropping his blanket made a very powerful connection to me, a woman in her senior years. As I get older, I am more and more concerned about the fear, pressures, and convoluted messages the world is shovelling into the minds of our culture.

    Your article shone a light on such a simple yet profound message, “Fear not! ” which can only happen in this day and age when we focus on the Source of truth and light who alone can dispel all fear.

    Thank you. I look forward to more of your insights.

  21. Exactly what we need as followers of the one true living God. Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” Mark 5:36
    Thanks for sharing what the Lord reminded you of with the body.

  22. All these years and I never noticed the blanket drop! Thank you for sharing that observation. After reading your post and watching the video clip, I also noticed something else I hadn’t before. When Linus quotes the scripture verse, as he says the word “Savior”, he spreads out his arms and you can see what looks like nail scars on the palm of his hands. Check it out!

  23. I really liked your take on the iconic Peanuts Christmas tale. But Jason you might want to add a part two to your post-after all, Linus ends up picking up the blanket again as he walks off the stage. Hence all of our struggles to consistently let go of that which entangles us and instead cling to Christ…

  24. Sorry, I don’t wish to remain anonymous. I’m the comment above. Sorry, ‘return’ rather than ‘tab’ will do that.

  25. I have loved Peanuts ever since it first appeared. I especially liked your perspective on the blanket. I’ve never given Linus’ security blanket much thought over the years.
    Thank you for following my blog and, as you’ve probably noticed by now, I’m following yours. My apologies if this is a repeat.

  26. so Jason I am curious as to your take on why did Linus drop the blanket at the end of his speech, when he walked off the stage.

  27. Dude I liked your response-and to quote some of my alcoholic clients I should have “played the tape all the way through” and watched the end of the story first-my bad. And yeah- when Linus drops the blanket at the foot of the Xmas tree the cross was the first thing I thought of as well-surprising ending considering Schultz was not a believer….or was he……anyway thanks again for this thread. With the new year so new, I think it behooves all of us to consider which blankets we need to finally let go and discard at the foot of the cross

  28. Thank you for bringing this tiny yet amazing detail to our attention. You’re right…the world is so scary right now and we are all grasping for something to make us feel safe. This is the perfect time of year to remember that “god with us” is all the security blanket we need.
    Merry Christmas

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