How "A Charlie Brown Christmas" almost wasn’t


Originally published at:


Gotta say, rewatching a Charlie Browns Christmas as an adult was disappointing. I never was very attached to it as a kid, but as an adult I found it slow and preachy. Unlike Calvin in Calvin and Hobbs, the Peanuts characters never seemed like little kids. Instead they seemed like grown ups drawn small. Other than Snoopy, the appeal generally escaped me.


The Halloween one was the only good one, and even that might be colored by nostalgia.


I got a rock. :frowning:


Maybe you need a more modern approach:


Sometimes we need slow and preachy.


Dorkly does a pretty good job of telling it like it is:

Vince Guaraldi’s drummer, Jerry Granelli, is still touring with his “Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas” show, and I do highly recommend it if you can go see it. (This year I neglected to check the dates before it was too late – not such a great loss, since I’ve seen it twice already, but then it’s pretty impressive he’s still doing it at all, and who knows for how much longer?)

EDIT: We also need this here.


Subtlest part of the special: when Linus quotes Luke 2:10, he drops his security blanket.


Still - about the most lovely Christmas album ever.


I don’t understand the quote marks in the headline. Why not quote the show title alone? (Is there some other work, of which I’m unaware, named “A Charlie Brown Christmas Almost Wasn’t”?)


Good for Shultz for standing up for adult vocabulary. It was part of the charm. But “nobody had ever animated anything from the Bible before?” Davey & Goliath predated A Charlie Brown Christmas by five years. (And if you think THAT was preachy… “God wouldn’t like that, Davey…”)


It’s not merely the vocabulary, it’s the subject matter. Extended angst about the over commercialization of Christmas is an adult thing, not a kid thing. (Also an ironic thing when preached in a commercial Christmas special leveraging some of the most popular commercial characters of their era.)


Hey, look - I’m agreeing with Skeptic about something!


I still love watching it, and probably always will, but, yeah:



Shut up! Dolly Madison isn’t commercial! Didn’t she sew all the stars on the flag or something? I’ll bet she did it for free, too. For the Lord.


Mendelson suggested a laugh track would save the show and Schulz responded by standing up and walking out of the room.

laugh track = repellant

Also, a good read (though I listened to it in the car):

Bonus Trivia: Schulz was “Charles” to strangers and “Sparky” to friends


THIS. :slight_smile:


And I miss the Kraft commercials during The Great Pumpkin!


I understood the angst just fine as a child. As I grew older I thought Schulz was writing anti-nostalgia; grown-ups could look at it and see the unhappiness that was shot through their childhood.

The only nostalgia? Snoopy’s bullshit adventures in war.


Yet that was pretty much the the only thing about the strip I enjoyed as a kid. I had no idea at that age it was the glorification of war - or what that would even mean. And I hadn’t even thought of it that way until you mentioned it. So, all around bad. :-/ Yet still iconic somehow…