A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted 50 years ago this month, on December 9, 1965. It’s hard to believe now, but when CBS executives previewed the show, they thought audiences would hate it. Thankfully they were wrong; critics and viewers loved it! The show won an Emmy and a Peabody Award, and CBS was so happy with its success it ordered four more Peanuts specials.
Created by Charles M. Schulz, A Charlie Brown Christmas follows Charlie Brown as he tries to re-discover the true meaning of Christmas with a little help from his friends. We all know the story and can probably recite many of the lines as we watch, yet each year many of us—kids and adults—make a point of including it in our holiday traditions.
Just as notable is the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. It includes classic Christmas carols like “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” “O Tannenbaum” and “What Child Is This” performed with a jazz flare. It also includes “Christmas Time Is Here,” which was written specifically for the TV special and is now a much-loved Christmas classic.
Get a behind-the-scenes look with A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition. A tribute to the show, the book features an illustrated script of the special and interviews with the original animator and producer.
Want more Charlie Brown for Christmas? See all our Charlie Brown Christmas titles.
Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! and thanks for reminding us what Christmas is all about for the last 50 years. May you be just as popular for the next 50 years!