Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Charlie Brown Christmas

I was sitting there in the kitchen with the laptop and I couldn't believe my eyes. I heard the piano chords and let out an ominous "oh no".

Deborah looked up and said "what? what's wrong?" And I said "Look!"

There on the TV was something that comes on every year but is always a surprise - and here, now in November (!) it was back - and it immediately takes me back laying on the rug in the family room in an old colonial house in New Jersey (or was that Baltimore?).

A Charlie Brown Christmas.

You should google the title to this wonderful animated cartoon special made back in 1965 (!) and learn how it almost did not get made. But it blows me away that it is now 41 years old and as Deborah says "makes me feel like a nine year old all over again". Because it really does. My saying "oh know" was to let her know I was going to let my mind (and hopfully my age) wander a bit as I escaped into Christmas Past.

Becasue during the '60's is when a lot of our overly nostolgic Christmass TV fare was first created (man don't even get me started on the puppet-animation of Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer). A Charlie Brown Christmas was not only current popular comics turned into Xmas fare but it also breathed the innocence of a kid's early Christmas's with a decent flair of comedic and coloquial sarcasm that was just entering the TV media at the time. I get a kick that back then Lucy is trying to convince Charlie Brown that "Christmas is just a big commercial enterprise run by a major East Coast syndicate". Ah, those were the good old days.

Of course everyone remembers the school play (or should I say Christmas Pagent) scene where our hero is the director and struggles with keeping his, uh, er, cast's undivided attention. Seeing those little Peanut characters groove out to the fine piano styling's of Vince Guaraldi still makes my toe tap. And how Charlie Brown then struggles to figure out the true meaning of Christmas. And time just seems to stand still when Linus cues the lights and speaks.

That reminds me - need to go get a tree.


wordgirl said...

We have dvd copies of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" AND "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" (Land of Misfit Toys!). It was one of the first stop-action features ever made and mass-produced. Actually, we've got a ton of Christmas movies we watch every year, but our kids have been watching the Grinch and the ones I mentioned above since they were tiny. I know what you mean about good memories. There's a warm feeling that comes from hearing the music of Vince Guaraldi (all the music to the Charlie Brown special). You can buy the entire soundtrack on dvd and it's not expensive. I encourage you to do so. Or...I can burn you a copy.It will really take you back, Rock. I really like this post.

Dan said...

I liked the post too. I have watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for years. I have been missing Rudolph though.