After celebrating its 50th anniversary, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is back for another year on ABC. While the classic TV special already aired earlier this month, if you missed it, you can catch it again Thursday night.

The special, directed by Bill Melendez, has aired annually on TV since its first appearance in 1965 on CBS. After more than 30 years on CBS, the Peanuts gang moved over to ABC where they have been since 2001.

Despite the popularity of Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, networks were not interested in the special, which Schulz hoped would show the true meaning of Christmas. The Coca-Cola Company finally stepped in and asked for a special for advertising during the holiday season, which it wanted done by early December.

This left Schulz and his team with only six months to produce the special. A script was written in a few weeks and then casting and animation followed. Following its original premiere, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” became known for its unorthodox style which included child actors, a jazz score, the absence of a laugh track and a slow pace.

The special follows Charlie Brown who in a state of depression and looks to Lucy and her psychiatric booth for help. At the advice of Lucy, Charlie agrees to direct the school Christmas play but realizes something is missing: a Christmas tree.

Charlie Brown finally settles on a withered sapling and brings it back to the group, only to get made fun of. Wondering if he’ll ever learn the true meaning of Christmas, he gets a lesson from Linus and his iconic biblical speech.

It was Linus’ reading from the Bible that led to some tension between Schulz, Melendez and executive producer Lee Mendelson. Schulz was adamant about having the scene in the special but Melendez and Mendelson felt differently. “We told Schulz, ‘Look, you can’t read from the Bible on network television,’” Mendelson said. “When we finished the show and watched it, Melendez and I looked at each other and I said, ‘We’ve ruined Charlie Brown.’”

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” airs on Dec. 22 at 8:00 p.m. EST on ABC and is also available to watch online HERE.