It was 54 years ago that Charlie Brown first discovered the true meaning of the holiday season when A Charlie Brown Christmas made its debut. Is there a more iconic Yuletide special then this one? No, no there is not. The first TV special based on Charles Schulz’s beloved Peanuts comic strip, A Charlie Brown Christmas follows luckless Chuck as he has an existential crisis brought on by the commercialization of the holiday season and by his duties directing a Christmas play. There are many reasons why this remains the high-water mark for Christmas specials — Vince Guaraldi’s jazzy, timeless score (which ranges from the slow beauty of “Christmas Time Is Here” to the frenetic wonder of his iconic signature tune “Linus and Lucy”), Linus’ speech about the true meaning of Christmas, Lucy’s attempts to offer psychiatric advice, etc, but the real reason this special has resonated with audiences across the years is that it is a piece of television magic that is absolutely perfect from start to finish — reflective of the joy that the season is supposed to be bring. And that’s exactly why we love it so.
An earlier version of this post ran last year. Tell us what your favorite moment from this special is below, or tweet it to us at @moviesunlimited!