“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”: A Comfort Movie Perfect for the Holiday Season

Image Source: The New York Times

Everyone has their very own traditions with friends and family, especially in light of the holiday season currently upon us. One of my favorite traditions occurs on Thanksgiving after my family and I finish our holiday meal of turkey and mashed potatoes and gather in the living room to watch our favorite Thanksgiving classic, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”

I was around seven years old when I remember this tradition beginning in my family. It was such a fun time for my family and me to come together and watch a movie that we all really enjoyed. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is based on the popular comic strip, Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz, and it aired for the first time on the CBS network on Nov. 20, 1973. 

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” was the third holiday special about the Peanuts that aired on television, following “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in 1965 and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” in 1966. 

The special follows Charlie Brown and his friends as they run through their normal Thanksgiving festivities and traditions. One of Charlie Brown’s friends, Peppermint Patty, states that she will unfortunately be alone for Thanksgiving and wants to come to Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving dinner with his family. In order to keep both his friends and family happy during the holidays, he decides to throw two different Thanksgiving feasts – one at his grandmother’s and one for his friends, including Peppermint Patty, Sally, Marcie, Franklin, Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock. 

The special continues to follow Charlie Brown’s journey as he works with Snoopy, Woodstock, and Linus to cook up a Thanksgiving dinner for his friends. Charlie Brown states that his cooking skills are limited to “cold cereal and maybe toast,” and makes a feast consisting of toast with margarine, pan-fried popcorn, pretzel sticks, and jelly beans.

As the special goes on, the moral of the story is uncovered when Charlie Brown decides that it would be best for him and his friends to all go over to his grandmother’s for a delicious Thanksgiving meal, to which his family agrees. This special showcases how important it is to spend time with family and friends during the holidays and to always express gratitude to your loved ones.

I always look forward to this tradition with my family during Thanksgiving, as it clearly emphasizes to me the most important part of the holiday itself, which is spending time with those you love most. Especially since I currently live in California and my family lives in Hawaiʻi, traveling back home for the holidays is something I cherish immensely. 

I have always been an avid watcher of all the Peanuts TV shows and movies, but the holiday specials – especially “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” – will always hold a special place in my heart and be something that I look forward to watching every Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Make sure to cherish your family, friends, and traditions this holiday season – I know I will!