Lee Mendelson passed away this week, and while you may not know his name, most likely you have been the beneficiary of some of his work. Mendelson was the producer of A Charlie Brown Christmas and the lyricist for the theme Christmas Time is Here. I’ll bet you can hear the song in your head now: “Christmas time is here, happiness and cheer, fun for all that children call, their favorite time of year…”

In addition to Charlie Brown, Mendelson also produced a dozen Garfield specials for television and turned other comics into television shows. I admire the ability to see something that everyone else sees and envision a new form for it.

We often think that creativity involves conceiving something entirely new but that is not the case. Jean Luc-Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.” Start the new year with a fresh perspective about what already exists and consider what you can expand, repurpose or reimagine this year.

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