Unfortunately, the Charlie Brown specials have been acquired by Apple and now stream on the Apple+ service exclusively. Conversely, Apple has decided to at least allow folks to watch the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials for free for a limited time. We have Hulu+Live TV and sometimes the rights holders for certain shows or movies have only granted broadcast rights and don’t allow streaming. That was the case with A Charlie Brown Christmas last year and I was so incensed I bought a copy of the thing on DVD.
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 good birthdays, plentiful Thanksgivings and Easters, 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 snot that I was as a little boy.
One of the things I do so enjoy about this time of year is the Christmas specials and movies. I’m really not a fan of newer Christmas movies and songs. Maybe I just don’t give them a chance.
I get very nostalgic this time of year and that fact will be reflected in this countdown.
11. A Charlie Brown Christmas – 1965
This is usually the first Christmas special I watch each year, this year being an exception, and I plan to watch it multiple times from my DVD copy before December 25. I’m not one for the Halloween special and although I have developed a new appreciation for the Thanksgiving special, the Christmas special is my favorite. 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, and playing football with my friends. 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 services. 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 choppy here and there. But it’s sweet, innocent, and not heavy-handed and I enjoy it.
On the 12th Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me A Twilight Zone Episode