It’s officially Holiday Movie season, and whether you celebrate or not, chances are you have seen a few in your time. While many remind us of old-time traditions and childhood memories, there’s a lot more to be found in these movies than meets the eye. In fact, hidden in just about every Charles M. Schultz Peanuts Movie, are lots of life lessons that we can use even today! From Thanksgiving to New Years, cartoon character Charlie Brown shows us just how depressed and stressed we can be this season, but it’s the Peanut Gang that shows us how we can make just about anything work if we focus on gratitude, love, and self-care! Do yourself a favor and remember the advice of the Peanut Gang this season!
While Thanksgiving has technically just passed, you may have a few more celebrations coming your way, and really, isn’t everyday a great day to be thankful? Sadly, Charlie Brown teaches us just how stressful gatherings can be, and we see him missing out on the real meaning of Thanksgiving because he’s missing all the wonderful things he has right in front of him. In this Thanksgiving Classic, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” we see it play out on the screen how the Peanuts Gang gathers to share in a meal of whatever they could find to give thanks and enjoy each other’s company. A bunch of friends with nowhere else to go, decide that even though they don’t have a fancy table or elaborate meal, that they have each other, and they celebrate. Perhaps this year you can’t serve the meal of your dreams or prepping a large feast just wasn’t in the cards. That doesn’t mean you have to skip the celebration. What we can learn from this cartoon classic is that friendships matter and food is just the binder! If you can’t gather like the Peanuts Gang, reach out to friends this weekend, and just let them know how grateful you are for them. If you can gather, enjoy it. Remember these words from Marcie in this episode, “Thanksgiving is more than eating…We should just be thankful for being together. I think that’s what they mean by ‘Thanksgiving’.”
Not too far down the line is…Christmas! When you think of Christmas, you may feel like Charlie Brown, depressed! But you don’t have to be. Charlie Brown proves in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” that stressing about making everything perfect this season, can make them perfectly miserable. Instead of the “poor Me’s,” this season, look for fun and spread the love. In this seasonal episode we see the Peanuts Gang take a little sad Christmas tree, give it some love and turn it into a festive sight! Linus says, “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.” Then we see the Peanuts Gang gather around a sad friend and share their love to bring him out of his slump by singing together. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, don’t allow the stress to fit in every little thing over the next few weeks steal your joy. Make time to take in the season in whatever way is meaningful for you. Spend time connecting, go look at lights, savor a hot cocoa, do some random acts of kindness, and maybe even watch a little Charlie Brown too! If something isn’t going right, take a breath and see if Linus’ advice works by giving just a little more love.
As we inch closer towards years end, you may be like Charlie Brown – racing to meet all your deadlines. Don’t let yourself get so worn out that you can’t even enjoy a little end of year fun. In “Happy New Year Charlie Brown,” Charlie leaves his biggest assignment to the last minute, which has him missing out on not only getting his rest but enjoying friends and festivity. Charlie Brown is screaming for some self-care. Even with end of the year deadlines, we all need rest. We all need to eat well and to manage our priorities. If you can get ahead by doing some extra work now, go for it. See if you can stagger your goals over the next few weeks so you aren’t sleeping through the ball drop like Charlie Brown. We can all do a little better to care for ourselves and if we start now, it will make it even easier next year, and as Peppermint Patty says, “It’s going to be a great year!”
Be thankful this season, especially if you have friends and family to share it with. Find ways to relook at what’s getting you down and see if you can find more love for it and or yourself. Lastly, take care of yourself! Don’t run yourself so ragged that you are missing out on all the fun like Charlie Brown on New Year’s Eve. Eat well this season, get your rest and do your best to appreciate everything you can. Some people wait all year for this magical season, and even if that’s not you, you still deserve to enjoy and celebrate another year. Cheers to making this the best, healthiest and most memorable end of the year yet! Don’t be a depressed Charlie, remember the advice of the Peanut Gang!
Director of The Wellness Center