Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
Santa Claus and ho-ho-ho, and mistletoe and presents to pretty girls.
Stockings hung by the chimney with care.
And the 1961 Ford Falcon?
Well, no. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on the television.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of perhaps the best-loved Christmas special ever: A Charlie Brown Christmas, which aired on the CBS network on December 9, 1965. I was but a wee lad at the time so I have no memory of that first broadcast; I certainly watched it later on, probably every year while I was growing up, and most years since, but whether I saw it that very first night or have any memory of it is beyond my recollection. I'd guess my parents most likely turned it on that first night, as I had two siblings that likely would have enjoyed it.
Now, much has been said and written about the Peanuts Christmas special, and today (Monday, November 30) ABC Television will air the digitally restored version of the program along with an hour-long special beforehand documenting the making of the original, appropriately named It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown!.
In all this 50th Anniversary hoopla, one might be tempted to think that this was the Peanuts gang's first foray into network television. Well, you'd be almost right. While this was Charles Schulz's first feature program on television, Charlie Brown and Co. had appeared earlier in the form of TV commercials. For Ford.
So step below the fold and we'll examine these early television incarnations of the Peanuts gang and see what they had to offer the prospective car buyer of the late 1950s and early 1960s.