|The meaning of Christmas |
- "to give up one's very self - to think only of others - how to bring the greatest happiness to others - that is the true meaning of Christmas"
The topic was taken up by satirists such as Stan Freberg and Tom Lehrer during the 1950s and eventually by the influential TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired in 1965 and repeated every year since. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957) also illustrates the topos, and was very influential in the form of an animated TV special produced in 1966. The phrase and the associated morale became used as a trope in numerous Christmas films since the 1960s.
The phrase found its way into the 2003 Urbi et Orbi address of Pope John Paul II, "The crib and the tree: precious symbols, which hand down in time the true meaning of Christmas!"