The annual airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas has become as much a part of Christmas as Santa and Rudolph.
Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, Snoopy's decorated doghouse and Linus' classic recitation on the true meaning the season have become true baby-boomer Christmas icons. Throw in Vince Guaraldi's classic soundtrack, and you have an animated special that has defined a generation.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas was not the first time the Peanuts characters were animated. In the early 1960's they appeared in a series of commercials for the Ford Motor Company.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas was conceived, written, animated and produced in only six months, and was finished only a week before the air date. The first airing, on December 9, 1965, was sponsored by Coke.
- A CBS executive who watched a preview was disappointed and declared the program, "A little flat....a little slow", and said he thought Peanuts was better suited for the comics page. Ed Levitt, an animator who worked on the show was more percipient, however, declaring "A Charlie Brown Christmas will run for a hundred years"!
- The children who sing the opening and closing songs, "Christmas Time is Here", and "Hark The Herald Angels Sing", were chosen from a children's choir at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Rafael, California. The songs were recorded at Fantasy Records Studio in San Francisco.
- The voice of Charlie Brown was provided by 8 year old actor Peter Robbins, who had previously appeared in over 35 television commercials, and had small roles in TV shows such as "F Troop" and "Get Smart". Robbins continued to be the voice of Charlie Brown in 5 more Peanuts specials, as well as in the first Peanuts movie. A Boy Named Charlie Brown.