It may be hard to believe but the perennial favorite Christmas special A Charlie Brown Christmas is celebrating 50 years! The lovable characters who have touched our hearts through many a special and movie, are, for me, most loved at this Christmas time of year. The US Post Office has done their part by issuing commemorative stamps. Network ABC is doing their part on Monday November 30th airing an hour long commemorative special before broadcasting A Charlie Brown Christmas for the first time this year. These are must see tune ins!
I have watched this special program every year that I can remember! It was an event for sure. With no VHS or recordable devices, you planned and watched together as a family. I am not sure when we purchased our first color TV, but it made no matter. The lovable characters, with kid feelings and adult-like foibles were firmly cemented into our hearts. If you look up timeless classic in the dictionary it would read A Charlie Brown Christmas. The Vince Guaraldi Trio provided the award winning soundtrack and is one of the top selling holiday albums of all time. It is still to this day one of the few specials that integrates the religious true meaning of Christmas into the story. For that alone, it is a favorite among viewers.So now the characters! I am sure we have identified as one or two of the Peanuts over a lifetime of Christmases. Charlie Brown, feeling he has lost the spirit of Christmas because of the heavy dosing of commercialization (and yes, 1965 original air date; thank goodness Lucy didn't have a crystal ball!), goes to Lucy for help. For a nickel, Lucy gives Charlie Brown the best piece of Christmas advice any of us could receive: get involved, give of yourself and the spirit will find its way back to you through new and old friendships, family (pets), and even through what is now lovingly referred to as A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree! As Charlie Brown tries to direct the school Christmas pageant whilst the kids begin a tireless dissonance of dancing and merrymaking, Inspired by an idea, Charlie Brown & Linus set out to find a tree that can save the pageant. What he gets upon his return with a less-than-'perfect'-tree is ridiculed. Charlie Brown gives up and cries out does anybody know the true meaning of Christmas? In response, Linus reads the Nativity passage from the Gospel Of St. Luke.
What does pull the season together for all of them in the end is the rallying support for Charlie Brown & his not so bad little tree. What remains is the joy, love and hope they all feel in the Spirit of Christmas! Merry Christmas (and Happy 50th) Charlie Brown!