The temperature has dropped, the halls are decked and the Christmas programming on television begins. Must be October. Just kidding, sort of. Most people who know me know that I love Halloween. What they might not know is that I love Christmas even more. I’m not one for Christmas creep or Black Friday (which seems to start on Thanksgiving Thursday these days), but I do love the trappings of the Yuletide season. From the music (which I’ve written about previously) to the decorations, Christmas is one of my favorite things in life.
I have such fond memories of Christmas past. I spent a good part of my early childhood poor, although my parents did a wonderful job of hiding this from me. I always had a good birthday, a plentiful Easter and best of all, wonderful Christmases. Now that I am older and understand how little we could afford, I am ashamed of myself for being the selfish sot that I was as a little boy.
Santa Claus was always so good to me. I’ll tell you more about that some other time.
One of the things I do so enjoy about this time of year is the Christmas specials and movies. Since the countdown of my 100 favorite horror movies, and my Top 15 Christmas songs were met with such glee, I thought I would count down my Top 10 favorite Christmas specials/movies.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas – 1965
This is usually the first Christmas special I watch each year and I’ll watch it multiple times from the DVR recording before Dec. 25. This year, a 50th Anniversary Special accompanied the annual airing. I’m not one for the Thanksgiving or Halloween specials. The Great Pumpkin doesn’t do much for me and Peppermint Patty’s presumptuous nature and bad attitude kill the Thanksgiving show for me. However, I adore the Christmas special. From the skating scene to Linus’ monologue and Charlie Brown’s tree purchase – there is so much to like.
I remember trying to catch snowflakes on my tongue as a kid. Snowball fights. Sliding around in the snow and on the ice. Playing with my friends in the snow. So many of the activities Charlie Brown and his friends engage in remind me of my own childhood.
The one thing that stands out to me about this show is the music. Vince Guaraldi’s score has become iconic and the songs have become Christmas classics on the radio, SiriusXM and online streaming like Pandora.
Director Bill Melendez truly captures the spirit of Charles M. Schulz’s iconic comic strip characters in this production. It has a sweetness, innocence and charm that, for me, is the perfect way to kick off the season.
It’s not particularly well-animated and the editing is a bit uneven. But it’s sweet and not heavy-handed and I enjoy it.