All right, I admit it: this one is on the list purely at the instance of certain friends of mine who just absolutely love it. Personally, I've never really seen the appeal, and quite honestly, I go out of my way to avoid it most years. I have no idea why. It can't be the two-dimensional animation, as I still love all of the South Park Christmas episodes. It can't be Snoopy, as everyone knows I am a dog-lover! I think it's Charlie Brown himself because he just seems so...sniveling at times. Or maybe he's just drawn that way.
ANYWAY, A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered in 1965 and runs every year, showcasing little Charlie Brown's despondency during the holidays. Even though everyone is getting in the festive spirit by sending holiday cards and decorating their houses (and doghouses!) with lights and trees, Charlie Brown falls deeper and deeper into a funk. He decides, though, that the way to save the holiday is to be as traditional as possible, and he opts to prove this by directing the Christmas play with a real wooden tree, instead of the modern designs his friends come up with. He believes everyone has been corrupted by commercialism, after all.
In the crux of it all, his friend Linus proves Charlie Brown to be wrong about their motives, though, as he gives the infamous speech about the "true meaning of Christmas," and lo and behold, all of his friends join in on the sentiment, singing a carol to Charlie Brown. It's as if they pulled one big "Gotcha!" over his eyes the whole time. But it was all in good fun...or so the animators hope we will believe.
...On second thought, I think I do, in fact, realize why A Charlie Brown Christmas has never sat well with me: Charlie Brown wants to get the true celebration of Christmas back to the Bible. But Christ wasn't really born on December 25th, so he wants to take us back to a lie anyway. And if we're going to honor a lie, I much prefer the one about the jolly old man who brings presents to all the girls and boys rather than the one that invokes images of a scared, cold, pregnant girl out on the street...