For those who love 'A Charlie Brown Christmas', here some trivia that brings a different perspective on this Christmas Classic.
When 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' was in the development stages, Charles Shultz (creator of the Peanuts comic strip) and Lee Mendleson (producer) and Bill Melendez (lead animater) met to discuss Schulz’s insistence about including a New Testament scripture reading of the Christmas story from the Bible.
The scene in question was when Charlie Brown expresses his frustration with the commercialization of Christmas by stating “Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Mendelson and Melendez both voiced their concern about the reading, with Melendez telling Schulz, “It’s very dangerous for us to start talking about religion now.” Schulz replied by saying, “Bill, if we don’t, who will?”
In the end, the scripture reading was retained, and the CBS special was the second-most watched show of the week when it debuted on December 9, 1965.
Edmund Burke once stated “All that need be done for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” Thank God for men like Charles Shultz for his quiet perserverance to include the true account of the Christmas story in 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' because it is the second longest-running Christmas special on United States network TV, second only to “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” which was made a year earlier in 1964.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them,
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
– Luke 2:8-14
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