2. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Production company and network: Peanuts, CBS (original broadcast airing)
In the first televised holiday special of the Peanuts gang, plus Snoopy, Charlie Brown is aghast with the commercialism of Christmas and longs to find the true meaning of the season. To help lift his spirits, Lucy assigns Charlie Brown as the director for their annual Christmas play.
However, his friends and even Snoopy displayed a bit of hypocrisy when Charlie Brown brought back a scraggly tree instead of an aluminum one that was popular at the time. Dismayed yet again by materialism that has overpowered Christmas, Charlie asks once again what is the true meaning of the special day.
Linus fulfills his request and cites the New Testament Bible verse Luke 2:13-14 which explains the beautiful and religious description of Christmas and how that one man became the Savior.
The adult observation: Christmas has truly become overcommercialized and we often wonder find ourselves questioning if the holidays are just that. With rewatching the beloved Snoopy decorating his house, along with Charlie’s friends and himself breaking out in song at the end, we must remember that Christmas is about the sentimental things in life and the loved ones.
As a bonus footnote, animator Bill Melendez and producer Lee Mendelson were concerned that their project would be a flop for CBS. On the contrary, A Charlie Brown Christmas proved to be an overnight success and brought in over 15 million viewers in 1965.
Since then, Snoopy and his gang (and Woodstock) became symbolic with every holiday.
Where to watch: AppleTV Plus is your go-to place for A Charlie Brown Christmas as well as other Peanuts specials. However, due to public outrage with Apple’s acquisition of Peanuts, and not being able to watch on free live broadcast, Apple sponsored the airing of the special on public television stations. Additionally, A Charlie Brown Christmas can also be purchased on Amazon Prime, and DVD or Blu-ray.