November 24, 2021 - Peppermint Patty
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thess. 5:18)
I am such a sucker for classic holiday films, especially, Charlie Brown. It's like a trilogy of holiday expectations. "The Great Pumpkin." "A Charlie Brown Christmas" - my favorite. And of course, in the middle, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving."
"Hey, Chuck! Do you kind of miss me, Chuck?" Oh my goodness...you just have to love Peppermint Patty or not. I think she was the first female animated bully.
Peppermint Patty invites herself over for Thanksgiving dinner...not knowing that Charlie and his little sister are heading out to "grandmother's house we go." Before long she invites Marcie, and then Franklin.
The ping-pong table comes out of the garage. A myriad of different chairs are brought out. The table is set. And the most scrumptious Thanksgiving meal was created: buttered toast, popcorn, pretzels, and jelly beans.
"We have to say a prayer, Chuck? It's Thanksgiving after all. Aren't we going to say, 'grace'"? Of course, he doesn't know what to do but trusty Linus jumps in and gives us a short historical account of the first Thanksgiving before quoting the supposed prayer given on that day.
Regarding the meal, Peppermint Patty was not amused. "What blockhead cooked this? Where's the turkey? Where's the mashed potatoes? Where's the cranberries and the pumpkin pie?"
Marcie intervenes. "Peppermint Patty didn't mean to hurt you, Charlie Brown. Thanksgiving is more than eating. It's about remembering what the Pilgrims went through and what we have gone through. I think its about being thankful that we are together."
Apologies accepted all around. In fact, everyone "went over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go."
The older I get this simple truth becomes more clear. It's not about the turkey, the mashed potatoes, cranberries, or pumpkin pie. It's about being together and being thankful for what the Lord has brought us through - especially this past year.
A Disney movie at the local theatre. An evening walk at Spencer Park to see the holiday lights. Maybe a round of s'mores on the back porch fire pit. Who knows. Just together.
But I'm still going to pass on the toast, popcorn, and jelly beans.