Once the calendar flips from November to December it's a safe bet that in our house there will be a constant stream of Christmas movies. Most of them are of the Hallmark Channel variety at least until a few days before Christmas. By that point we get to the ones that are considered "classic" Christmas movies: Elf, A Christmas Story, It's A Wonderful Life, and Eloise at Christamastime (on December 23rd because that's Christmas Eve Eve).
But of all the Christmas related movies and television shows we watch together as a family there is none more special to us than A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Ironically, the show almost didn't get aired. CBS hated the production. Even Charles Schulz was not a fan of the finished product. But on December 9, 1965, half of all households with a television on tuned into the special and made it an instant classic. The jazzy soundtrack became one of best selling jazz records of all time. Yet despite its paltry production budget and limited visual effects it became a family favorite.
The real secret of the show's success has to be its message. No other Christmas program so clearly shares the true meaning of Christmas. It is perhaps why our family always makes a point to watch it on Christmas Eve - to remind ourselves of why we celebrate the holiday.
Linus' speech manages to sum it all up:
Let us never forget why we celebrate Christmas.