Questions we still have for 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'
One of my favorite holiday specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas, celebrates its 50th birthday today. It’s been quite a half century for old Chuck, and this year has been no exception. From getting a new movie, to live productions, to Macy’s celebrating his Christmas special with some really rad window displays in their NYC store, 2015 has been sure to celebrate the quiet wisdom of our favorite blockhead.
Personally, A Charlie Brown Christmas always kicks off the holiday season for my husband and me. We watch it while we put up our tree every year over the weekend after Thanksgiving. And while I’ve always loved it dearly, there are certain moments that flew right over my head as a kid but have made me laugh out loud as an adult – mostly because I still have so many questions for the writers and animators.
Seriously, what does January snow taste like compared to December?
We all know Lucy’s famous line that she delivers so stoically, without a hint of sarcasm: “I never eat December snowflakes. I always wait until January.” To which Linus replies, “They sure look ripe to me.”
I still need to know what this means. What does a ripe snowflake look like compared to an unripe one? Are the shades of white different? Is the taste of a ripe snowflake anything other than frozen water?
How did Linus’ blanket become a shepherd’s hat so easily?
Remember when Lucy threatens Linus and he’s all, “See, you wouldn’t hurt an innocent shepherd, would you?” And he throws his blanket around his head, which magically becomes a shepherd’s hat.
Um…how? How did a string all of a sudden wrap itself around the top? What kind of special fold and/or stitching happened in that split second? Is Linus a wizard? WHAT IS GOING ON?
Do these kids really only know one dance move each?
Arguably the most iconic scene of the special is when the kids are all dancing on stage and no dialogue is needed. This scene goes on a little longer than you’d expect, but mostly because the kids just keep on repeating the same dance moves over and over again. I need to know why – especially since they could look around and mimic someone else’s moves. Come on, guys. Open yourselves up to new experiences.
More importantly, where did Sally learn to bust these kinds of moves?
OK, there are a few exceptions to the “I only know one dance move” rule, including Snoopy, obviously. But what kindergarten recess session did Sally learn this from? Break it down, girl. Maddie Ziegler who?
Who was handling the background instruments when Schroeder plays that one song on the piano?
There’s a part about two-third of the way through where Lucy is bothering Schroeder and proclaiming how Beethoven wasn’t that great. Schroeder basically ignores her as usual (rude), and starts playing this song right as Snoopy shows up to show everyone how it’s done in the world of artful dance.
But if you listen closely, there are other instruments in the background other than the piano. Like, there is definitely a cymbal. Who was playing that? Does Schroeder have backup musicians? What eight-year-old has backup musicians, especially ones that don’t demand ANY onscreen time?
Who was working the lights in this playhouse?
When Linus gives his heartfelt speech about the true meaning of Christmas, most viewers clutch their own security blankets and maybe even wipe away a lone tear. I, however, am the jerk asking, “Who is working the lights?” when Linus says, “Lights, please” and someone suddenly shines a spotlight on him.
How did whichever kid responsible for working the lights know how to do this when they couldn’t do anything for a play except dance one move? Unless, of course, the light operator was an adult. In which case, maybe you could’ve stepped in before everyone bullied poor Charlie Brown. Bad form, adult.
How did redecorating the tiny tree with the decorations from Snoopy’s doghouse also make the tree suddenly have more branches?
A mystery for the ages. If whatever technology the Peanuts kids used to cause that tree to magically sprout more foliage can be channeled into hair re-growth, they could make enough money for Lucy to be able get that real estate she’s always wanted after all (and also probably her own island chain).
If these kids knew how to sing, why didn’t they do a concert instead of a play to begin with?
So y’all can sing pretty well and in decent harmony, but the first thing you think of doing for a Christmas play is random dancing with a tree in the middle and Snoopy playing various non-beagle animals?
I give up.
I think we can all agree that A Charlie Brown Christmas is best enjoyed in innocent silence and, if I’m being honest, the answers to all these questions would just take away from its charm. So happy birthday, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Maybe you continue to influence bad dancing and the desire to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas for another 50 years and beyond.