The legendary and timeless classic, 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' returns on Monday night for its 50th showing on television. It just seems rather hard to fathom that this legendary story will be a half century old tonight.
It is, indeed, turning 50 years old this Christmas season. It is a timeless classic that has been enjoyed by millions of people spread over several generations since A Charlie Brown Christmas was first shown on television back on December 9, 1965.
Everyone knows the story as well as they know Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The singing, the skating, the school pageants, the spiritual seeking; it’s has always always been there.
It has always been there and it is a timeless classic that will never be tossed aside during the Christmas holiday season. Unlike many other holiday favorites that seem dated like A Miracle of 34th Street, White Christmas and the legendary It’s a Wonderful Life, the adventures of the Peanuts gang at Christmas belies anyone to even hazard a guess as to when it was made, according to USA Today.
Even the recent The Peanuts Movie raked in a cool $116.8 million at the theaters last month. Though many of the above mentioned movies can seem dated at times, they remain a continuous reminder of the season and the traditions. Like the favorite ornaments on the family tree, A Charlie Brown Christmas will always remain a favorite ornament.
The Peanuts characters were first created by comic strip writer Charles Schultz in 1950. The popularity of the strip was amazing as it seemed everyone read about what was happening with poor ol’ Charlie Brown everyday in hundreds of newspapers. When, 15 years later, A Charlie Brown Christmas first appeared, the ever thoughtful and kind Charlie Brown picks right up where the comics had left off. He is struggling with the insanity of the commercial aspect of the holiday and wants to know the real meaning of Christmas. So, he decides to begin his search by directing the class Christmas play. After, of course, visiting Lucy at her psychiatry booth.
And, of course, everyone wants the biggest, loudest, and most offensive aluminum Christmas tree that can be had. Except for Charlie Brown who returns to play rehearsal with the saddest and most forlorn tree that is barely more than a couple of sticks and bare branches. Charlie is, as always, subjected to peer ridicule and scorn.
But the story does explore the deeper meaning of the holiday especially as it relates to Christian tradition. Creator Shultz always declared that there was an actual audience for innocence in America. For him, Charlie Brown was the kind of kid you wanted to have living next door to you. It is a tradition that is passed down between generations and offers a rare moment when all of the generations can sit together and enjoy something that everyone will love and remember.
And who can ever forget the Peanuts gang gathering around Schroder’s piano and doing that dance? Who actually dances like that except for them?
ABC will show A Charlie Brown Christmas tonight at 9PM Eastern.