A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first animated TV special based on the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles Schulz. Most people reading this have surely heard of the animated short, and many others, like myself, have seen it every year since 1965. The animated story has won many awards including an Emmy and a Peabody. I watch it now with my small children here in Japan, but every time I view it I'm taken back to a time when I watched it perched on my mother's knee or plopped down on the living room floor in front of our RCA Color TV with a remote control the size of an aircraft carrier (at least we never lost it). The show is a classic, but you may not know of its humble and rather improbable beginnings. When you have a chance, take some time to watch this short documentary on the making of A Charlie Brown Christmas. The history surrounding its creation is quite a journey and a great story in itself and there are lessons in there about resilience, perseverance, risk taking, authenticity, storytelling, and of course, creativity. Merry Christmas, everyone.
At the two-minute mark of the first scene Snoopy spins Linus and Charlie on the ice sending them both sailing, but we only see Charlie Brown landing and hitting a tree as the title fades in. What happened to Linus? Well, the first season it aired in December of 1965 Coca-Cola was the sponsor so Linus actually bumps into a snow-covered sign that says "brought to you by the people in your town who bottle Coca-Cola" before fading to commercial. After 1965 those few moments were cut since Coke was no longer the sponsor. Thankfully those moments live on in YouTube.