It’s bound to be a Merry Christmas with this classic! From creator Charles M. Shultz, comes “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.
Whether you are seeing this masterpiece for the first time or simply the first time in years, this timeless classic has a lesson for all ages and some good old-fashioned fun.
This is the very first Peanuts special which aired on December 5th, 1965, and it’s just as charming and rough around the edges as you remember it.
It’s a perfect mood piece for Christmas; if anything, it’s too short. I get a little choked up at the end when the gang decides to be nice to Charlie Brown and fix his Christmas tree (even though I’ve probably seen it 50 times).
The feature centers around Charlie Brown’s frustration with the commercialization of Christmas, so he decides to put on a play to show everyone the true meaning of Christmas, and while everything in Charlie Brown’s play doesn’t exactly work out (including that now-famous little tree) Linus steps in to save the day.
One of the most memorable moments is when Linus takes center stage to remind us about the true meaning of Christmas.
It’s a favorite moment in the history of TV. Linus faces the camera directly as if speaking to the entire world, during this small segment of the story. It begins with a few words from his friend Charlie brown:
“I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn’t have picked this little tree,” says Charlie Brown. “Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I don’t really know what Christmas is all about. Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
“Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about,” says Linus. He speaks with clarity through his lisp to eloquently explain what Christmas is all about. Then right as he says “Fear not” – Linus drops his iconic security blanket. It remains on the floor for the rest of the speech, and he picks it up when he’s done.
Some say it’s symbolic; Linus didn’t need his security blanket while quoting Scripture because he had all the security he needed in those special words. It’s something to think about.
It’s not the gifts or the food or the parties or the stockings or the shopping. It’s about the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ.
That was a unique message for prime-time television in 1965, and The Peanuts’ creator, Charles Schultz thought it was an important reminder for the country to hear. The lessons he taught us when we were kids are the lessons we taught our children, and share today with our children’s children.
I’m far from being a kid, but I’ve watched this every year for as long as I can remember. The first time I saw this, I was wearing footed pajamas while drinking hot chocolate. This year, I watched with my 5-year-old grandson and we both enjoyed it as much as I did 50 years ago. 🙂
As for the tree — it’s amazing what a little love can do:
Share this with your friends because Christmas comes just once a year, but the message is forever.