Monday, December 01, 2008

Unintentional Irony

New this year - a plastic reproduction of the Christmas tree from A Charlie Brown Christmas. You can also get an entire kit with both book and tree. The tree with the kit is much smaller.

There is a cruel irony about this. The Peanuts special was all about the over-commercialization of Christmas. In an effort to get the Christmas spirit, Charlie Brown goes to buy a Christmas tree to go with a play about the nativity. He and Linus find a lot full of search lights and artificial trees. Charlie Brown finds the last natural tree - a spindly branch nailed to crossed boards that sheds needles when touched. The other kids are outraged that he didn't get a proper plastic tree but, after a Bible quote from Linus, they relent, decorate the tree, and wish Charlie Brown a Merry Christmas. The special is a gentle rebuke to the commercialization of Christmas already underway in the 1960s.

Over the years there has been a lot of Peanuts merchandise. Charles Shultz, the creator of Peanuts, became quite wealthy from this and used some of his money for public works. Given this, I normally don't have any problems with Peanuts merchandise.

This one is a bit different since it is exactly what the special was complaining about - plastic trees and over commercialization.

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