This was a no-brainer, right?
I know there’s some backlash against these more obvious Christmas classics, probably because they’ve been at the top for so long, but there’s a lot of reason for them to be at the top. And as far as this one goes, well, every kid who can recite Saint Luke’s account of the Nativity probably can thank Linus van Pelt.
Again… everyone knows the plot, but it boils down to Charlie Brown is involved in the Christmas pageant in order to keep busy and ward off the holiday blues, while also trying to figure out what Christmas is all about. Everyone around him seems caught up in something trivial: gifts, how their hair will look onstage, the lights and display contest, etc. Lucy sends him after a Christmas tree, and he picks the most pathetic, in need of love one on the lot. Though he almost gives up on everything in despair, Linus and the gang finally put aside their distractions and make it a truly merry experience.
It’s simple. It’s charming without being syrupy, and it has a truly kickass soundtrack. And we can learn to recite the gospel from listening to Linus. What more could you ask for in a Christmas special? Yes, it’s been popular and near the top for decades, but there’s a reason for that. Our Christmas viewing experience would be poorer without it.