It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on ABC! The network will be kicking off the holiday season with the TV classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Fans of the festive, Charles M. Schulz animated special can catch Charlie Brown, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts in the Christmas spirit at 8:30 p.m. EST and again when the special airs Tuesday, Dec. 16.
The annually aired program, directed by Bill Melendez, made its first TV appearance on CBS on Dec. 9, 1965. But in 2001 the Peanuts moved over to ABC, making the network their new home. The special has received both an Emmy and a Peabody Award in addition to getting recognition for its catchy jazz soundtrack, which went triple platinum in the U.S. and has since become a staple Christmas tune for the holiday season.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” tells the heartwarming tale of Charlie Brown’s journey in learning the true meaning of the holiday, beginning with the protagonist confiding in Linus the dismay he has in regards to the commercialization of Christmas. His depression worsens when his sister Sally asks him to assist her in writing a letter to Santa, which includes a request for money.
In a state of desperation, Charlie Brown looks to Lucy for help at her psychiatric booth. She tells him to direct a Christmas play for their school pageant, a responsibility he agrees to take on. While directing, Charlie Brown comes to the conclusion that to set the proper mood of this festive play, they need a Christmas tree. The cast and crew agree thus beginning Charlie Brown’s search for a “big, shiny aluminum tree.”
However, instead of picking out the tree of Lucy’s liking, Charlie Brown opts for a real but rather puny tree. When he brings the withered sapling back to the auditorium, Charlie Brown is teased and ridiculed. Feeling more upset than ever, Charlie Brown questions if he’ll ever learn the true meaning of Christmas, which is when Linus breaks out his iconic biblical speech.
With Linus’ words still lingering in his head, Charlie Brown decides to dress up the little tree. But a heavy ornament placed at the top results in the sapling teetering over. “I’ve killed it!” Charlie Brown said, thinking he destroyed the symbolic Christmas icon.
But thanks to a little TLC (and Linus’ blanket) the tree is propped up and decorated to perfection by Charlie Brown’s peers. Charlie Brown is surprised by his friends’ kindness, and they hum “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” until the closing credits start to roll.
Tune in to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Tuesday, Dec. 2 and Dec. 16, at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC.