A Charlie Brown Christmas is a Christmas classic. It's one of those things that you'll probably come across while flipping channels at one point or another this holiday season, sure, but wouldn't you rather make a ~moment~ out of it, and sit down to watch the 25-minute special properly? If so, here's how to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas this year.
Both ABC and Freeform (formerly ABC Family) are presenting their traditional 25 Days Of Christmas this year. Luckily, A Charlie Brown Christmas will be playing as part of ABC's 25 Days Of Christmas, which you don't even need cable to watch. According to the network's website, the special will air on ABC on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. ET and Thursday, Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. ET., along with another special called Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales.
ABC's 25 Days of Christmas will also present two other Charlie Brown holiday specials: I Want a Dog For Christmas will air on Friday, Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. ET., and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown will play on Thursday, Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. ET.
If you were looking for streaming options, have no fear. You can buy a digital copy of A Charlie Brown Christmas on Amazon for $12.99, or on iTunes for $12.99. Additionally, the entire special appears to be on YouTube (it's only 25 minutes long, after all).
Not to mention, A Charlie Brown Christmas is such a classic that it has been turned into a stage show over and over again, with several opportunities to see it live this holiday season. For instance, the Redhouse Arts Center at City Center in Syracuse, New York will put up an original adaptation of A Charlie Brown Christmas from Dec. 6 through Dec. 16, according to Syracuse.com. Also in upstate New York is a production of A Charlie Brown Christmas at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts, playing one night only, on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., according to Buffalo News. Additionally, a touring company is currently touring the nation with A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage, playing more than 60 shows all over the country in November and December.
In case you need a refresher, A Charlie Brown Christmas tells the story of the Peanuts gang during the holiday season one year. Everyone is excited for Christmas and all the festivities — except Charlie Brown, who is feeling depressed and unenthused about the holiday, so his friends try to get him on board. They take him Christmas tree shopping (yes, this is where that iconic sad Charlie Brown Christmas "tree" came from), they have Charlie direct the Christmas play, and eventually, he discovers the true meaning of Christmas.
A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired on TV in 1965, and it was a surprise hit, despite not using typical conventions for animated TV at the time, such as a laugh track (the absence of which Peanuts creator Charles Schulz fought hard for, according to USA Today). When A Charlie Brown Christmas first premiered, it was viewed by a whopping 45 percent of people who were watching TV in America at the time, according to Investor's Business Daily.
Needless to say, A Charlie Brown Christmas is definitely worth a watch this holiday season!