A very Merry Christmas 2016 from Yello80s

From Yello80s.com may you have a blessed and joyous Christmas this year- no matter how you celebrate it, your specific traditions or lack thereof, we hope the love of Christ envelopes you and G-d makes His presence known in your life on this holy day. This year I’ve wrestled with Christmas for perhaps the first time in my life. It’s been a year of loss and re-defining and discovery. 2016 has challenged everyone I know in various ways but over the past several years I’ve become very dissatisfied with the trappings of this season. I still love the music and the cheesy tv specials; the giving and the decorating and all the miracles… but this year I understood in a whole new, grown up light those frustrated words of Charlie Brown in my favourite Christmas special: “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!” The show-stealing reply of Linus is a tear-jerker for me every year. But I was always Linus in the crowd- thinking to myself, of course Christmas isn’t about Santa and trees and presents. How trite to make it *only* about those things. How one -dimensional. Then my grandmother passed suddenly in August and Christmas, all it’s symbolism both Christian and secular, all came from her. And now I find myself as Charlie Brown, asking not in frustration but seriously, can’t anyone tell me what Christmas is all about? And luckily, the little Linus voice inside me, maybe my ancestors speaking over me, is answering: Courtesy Sval777 The text is from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, verses 8 through 14, King James Version. “8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 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. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” This iconic scene so replayed and so remembered by America almost didn’t make it in. Station executives didn’t like the special to begin with and only aired it because they were pushed to fill up the airtime with no other alternatives so close to Christmas. Charles Schulz was advised he couldn’t write in something so religious, it wouldn’t make it to television but he is remembered as saying, “If we don’t, who will?” And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. As an 80s kid, that message got to me through TV. Today’s kids might hear that message of joy in a text- whatever, however, peace to you in the name of the LORD and joy to your family and friends this day. love, Yello80s.com

Break out the popcorn, here come the Peanuts

The Peanuts movie is coming out this Friday and I’m wiggling around doing the Snoopy dance via GIPHY cos I just can’t wait to go! I’ve even bought some nifty yellow nail polish to go my claws up like Megan Trainer’s Charlie Brown Shirt-style. I’m looking forward to the film not only because Charlie Brown was an absolute favourite in the house amongst my grandfather’s family (My uncle had Snoopy penants draped across the walls of his room, we had little Snoopy figurines tucked up on the window shelves, my mother had the comic books and of course we never missed a TV special!) but because it appears from the trailers that this won’t suck as much as it could. In fact, maybe not at all. Meghan Trainor Better When I’m Dancin courtesy MeghanTrainorVEVO I’m not saying that out of a negative perspective actually. I’ve seen many a book character get butchered when it goes to TV and let’s not even go there when it comes to film. Let’s be honest here: the animation for the Peanuts specials was pretty crap (I was just watching the Great Pumpkin the other night and had another eye-shock of terrible on-screen adaptation). This always struck me because if you’ve ever read the original comics, particularly the ones going back to the 60s, it’s not like Charles Schulz couldn’t draw. And it wasn’t like he created simple characters to get out of detail either- the characters are kids and have clean, simple lines but they’re not badly drawn. When they made the leap to TV however, 2 awful things happened. 1. someone didn’t waste any frames in the animation and 2. the voice actors grew up and not much consistency was made in the way of trying to keep them sounding somewhat similar during the years. As a Schulz fan that breaks my heart because when I think of American icons, Peanuts is right up there and it’s an injustice to the creator to slapdash it. Luckily the score by Vincent Guaraldi always but always saved the day and the dialogue couldn’t be beat (Linus still makes me cry when he quotes the Gospel of Luke). Courtesy Fox Family Entertainment So because this is 2015 there certainly isn’t money or time to make 2D films anymore- Charlie Brown’s bulbous head is truly bulbous in 3D and the colouring much more life-like (shading! I like it!). As Mr. Boo says, “It’s like 3-2-dimensional. You know what I mean.” Indeed. The producers thank G-d decided to incorporate the Guaraldi Trio’s requisite Linus and Lucy, Skating and Christmastime is Here in the soundtrack. I don’t know about you but though Mr. Guaraldi passed in 1976 it so feels to me that he’s never gone; his music seems so timeless. The timing of this release is spot -on: like many other classics in the last couple of years, The Peanuts comic strip celebrates it’s 65th anniversary this year and the 50th anniversary of Charlie Brown’s debut on the small screen. I’ve read a few reviews and the outlook is good- we are promised that Charlie Brown has not updated to the point of his own Twitter account or WordPress Site and dialogue seems true to Schulz’ very special tone. What I fear is our tendency to go either under or over kids’ heads, missing them in entirety. What I mean is filing the edges off anything rough or writing jokes ‘intended for adults because the kids won’t get it.’ Charlie Brown and pals acted like actual children; their words commenting on everything going on around them in the world. There was no sexual demoralizing and the sense of justice was very strong (Linus: …I thought little girls always believed everything that was told to them. I thought little girls were innocent and trusting.   Sally: Welcome to the 21st century!). And of course because it’s an anniversary year, there’s no better excuse to roll out the exclusive merchandise!  Make sure you check back to Yello80s or subscribe for email updates- we’ll be taking a look at the new stuff in the coming weeks.