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Peanuts Holiday Perspective | Revisiting A Classic Childhood Christmas Special

Posted on December 14 2016

Nostalgia—The Gift That Keeps On Giving

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas Good Grief

Hailing from the home of Charles M. Schulz historic studio, I have a soft spot for all things Peanuts—especially during the holidays. Like clockwork, every year I catch the Sebastopol firemen climbing their ladders to prop homemade Peanuts statues—handcrafted and gifted by Schulz himself—on the firehouse roof. And every year, I watch A Charlie Brown Christmas to spark my holiday spirit. Schulz’s first animated Peanuts television special hummed into living rooms December 1965 and returned every holiday season thereafter. I can’t recall any plot points off the top of my head, only the nostalgic soothing melodies of “Christmas Time Is Here,” the bouncy jazz piano Peanuts theme song, and the inspired 2-D dance moves of Charlie Brown’s cronies.

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas Peanuts Holiday Perspective

This year, I decided to re-watch the Classic Peanuts holiday special without commercial interruptions or communal distractions for a serious dose of childhood Christmas nostalgia to get me in the holiday spirit. As soon as I saw the  animated snowfall and heard the child choir carolers, I was instantly transported to a simpler time—back when the holidays felt more potent, more meaningful. As Charlie Brown skulks about the screen with a heavy case of seasonal depression, I realized that since reaching adulthood I relate to his struggle—the inability to find the meaning of Christmas, to feel the holiday spirit. As a child, I was drawn to Snoopy’s hilarious antics and Sally’s unrequited crush on Linus (as a boy crazy little girl—I could relate). But as an adult, I get Charlie’s grief. His struggles with commercialism and consumerism around the holidays are all too familiar. What happened to the magic of Christmas I felt as a child? And then Linus spelled it out for me with a plethora of biblical words, but I’ll sum it up short and  sweet—community—that’s the spark for holiday spirit.

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas Peanuts Holiday Perspective

I realized that as a grown woman, my family didn’t always spend the holidays together. Whether they were traveling the world or celebrating with their in-laws, I missed the togetherness of the holidays. But Charlie Brown and gang reminded me that all I need to find my holiday spirit is a bit of community and a whole lot of celebration. To celebrate, I’ll get my first grown-up tree—probably just a fake wimpy Charlie Brown Christmas tree cause it’s easy and nostalgic, but hey it’s a start! If that sad little tree slipped your mind, come take a stroll with me down memory lane and revisit the hilarious and heartwarming gems from this holiday classic. Let the nostalgia glow commence! 

 

Linus' Blanket Skills

A Charlie Brown Christmas Linus Blanket

Linus’ big sis Lucy may bag on his beloved baby blue security blanket, but Linus proves it's more than a self soothing snuggle sheet. Whether slinging a snowball at a can on the fence or wearing it as a shepherd’s cap for the Christmas play, Linus’ blanket has many practical uses beyond warmth or security.

 

Lucy's Amateur Psychotherapy

A Charlie Brown Christmas Lucy Psychiatry Booth

A running gag from Schulz’s comic strip, Lucy Van Pelt’s psychiatry booth often plays host to the chronically depressed Charlie Brown. At 5 cents a pop, her advice is a bargain even if it is often useless. And her adult-sized ambitions far exceed her years. Heck!...she’s already disillusioned by Christmas cause she never gets what she asks for—”REAL ESTATE”—a sound investment at any age. But what struck me most was her insistence on payment upfront. A smart move for any rookie entrepreneur, especially amateur therapist Lucy. At least Charlie Brown has his wise best friend Linus—Lucy’s bright little brother—to help him find his holiday spirit.  

 

Snoopy's Doghouse Decorations

A Charlie Brown Christmas Snoopy

Charlie Brown doesn’t mind Snoopy’s overzealous holiday doghouse decor, just his pups money hungry motivation. The ole neighborhood lights and display contest—“find the true meaning of Christmas! Win money, money, money!” Good Grief! Poor Charlie Brown. His own dog “gone commercial.” I can’t imagine what Snoopy would need all that money, money, money for being a domesticated animal and all, but he winds up winning first place anyways. Snoopy’s a pretty silly pooch, but at least he’s got moxie! 

 

Sally's Santa Letter

A Charlie Brown Christmas Sally Santa Letter

Sally's casual letter to Santa with detailed instructions is comic genius! She can't even spell or write her own wish list, but boy can she dictate her wants and needs! 

 

Charlie Brown's Tree Choice

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

As a child who often chose stuffed animals with lopsided eyes or misshapen ears simply because I worried no one else would appreciate them or take them home, Charlie Brown’s humble taste in lackluster pine trees warms my winter chilled heart. That tree truly did need you Charles! 

 

Linus' Massive Monologue 

A Charlie Brown Christmas Linus Monolgue

No matter your religious preference, Linus’ biblical monologue is an impressive feat for an elementary aged youngen. Mad props Linus. Mad props!

 

(Images via A Charlie Brown Christmas)

2 comments

  • Morgan Austerweil: December 24, 2016

    Thanks Jenny-Lynn! So good to know others feel the same sense of nostalgia and joy as I do around the holidays, and Charlie a brown in particular! So happy you connected with my words and sentiment.

  • Jenny-Lynn: December 19, 2016

    Thank you for this. I was reminded of how as a child, every December I would l look through the TV guide that arrived with the Sunday paper to see if this was the week “A Charlie Brown Christmas” would be aired. At the time renting a VCR wasn’t even a possibility, so there was a sense of anticiaption about the holidays played out even in tv programming. One by one the traditions would unfold, the tree, the cookies, the pageants, my grandmothers’ arrivals-, all of this combined to create magic and a spirit of sharing. I always felt that nothing unpleasant could ever happen anywhere on Christmas.
    The past 2 weeks I have been absolutely amazed of the help I have received in moving my studio from Sebastopol to Healdsburg. The only way I can think of giving back is to focus on community, helping where I can, and trying to bring people together for moments of joy. We especially need this now. Happy Holidays to everyone, and thank you for your message, Andrea.

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