It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, at least to me, now that the winter cold is finally upon us. It always takes me a bit longer to get into the Christmas spirit than most people I know. I won’t say that I’m a Grinch or anything but, when it comes to the holidays, I’m definitely more of a Charlie Brown.
It had been years since I’d watched the beloved Christmas classic A Charlie Brown Christmas so I figured now was as good of a time as any for a nostalgic dose of holiday cheer. I needed a little reminder of the true meaning of the holiday and, thanks to the Peanuts gang, I’ve got a new lease on this Christmas season.
As a little kid the original Charlie Brown Christmas special was a holiday tradition. But even then I can’t say that I truly understood the plight of our greatly put-upon protagonist Charlie Brown. In those days I couldn’t understand why Chuck was so glum; it was Christmas, after all. In hindsight, of course, it’s easy to see why Charlie Brown, a youngster possessed of a thirtysomething’s melancholy,was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. He’d become disenchanted with the commercialism of the holiday, a complaint that has grown much timelier in this day and age. His efforts to celebrate Christmas in a more meaningful way–from agreeing to direct the Christmas play to selecting a spindly, pathetic Christmas tree–are unpopular at first. But eventually the gang come to appreciate Charlie Brown’s sensitivity and simplicity–at least, until the next holiday special rolls around.
This is one of my favorite Christmas programs of all time for a number of reasons–the sweet and simple story featuring Charles Schulz‘s well-loved characters, the use of non-professional children in the voice cast. But one of the things I love most about this special is its soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi, a charming score that lends a sweetness yet sophistication to the show. Not only does this soundtrack boast “Linus and Lucy”, the song that has come to be the Peanuts theme but it also features one of my favorite modern Christmas songs “Christmas Time is Here”.
I can’t think of a better way to get into the Christmas spirit than this: