"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
"And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
How many of us remember the small boy clutching his blanket as he made his way onto a quiet stage and began to recite these words?
For many of us, the "Peanuts" Christmas special may have been the first time we ever heard the story from the biblical book of Luke II -- or at least the first time we really listened. When the character of Linus took the stage, his purpose was to clarify the real meaning of Christmas. He did it well.
Like Linus' friend Charlie Brown, we can easily be overwhelmed with busy schedules, shopping and decorating. Amid the stress-inducing expectations and hustle and bustle of the season, it's easy to forget why this is a special time of year -- and why we work so hard to buy gifts and make time for gatherings of family and friends.
The words so eloquently repeated by Linus still inspire and remind us of the true reason for the season. Take a moment to read them again.