Tonight while watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, I noticed something that has escaped my attention for the past three decades.
Early in the episode, Charlie Brown goes to Lucy at her psychiatrist’s booth. Realizing that Charlie Brown needs some direction in his life, she suggests that he should be the director of the Christmas play. There’s a Christmas play? says Charlie Brown. They have everything lined up for the play, Lucy says. They just need a director.
There’s a Christmas play. They have a venue. They have a cast that just so happens to consist of all of Charlie Brown’s classmates, friends, and even family.
And Charlie Brown isn’t even aware of the Christmas play?
Are we meant to assume that Charlie Brown is that unaware of the things his friends (like his best friend, Linus) and family (like his sister Sally, to say nothing of his dog) are doing? Or are we meant to assume that everyone conspired to keep the Christmas play from Charlie Brown?
The former makes Charlie Brown out to look like a total idiot.
The latter makes everyone look bloody cruel.
I think we’re supposed to come away with both interpretations. I can’t get a hypothetical conversation out of my mind where Charlie Brown asks Linus or Sally where they’ve been and they tell them about the Christmas play that he knows nothing about. No one comes out looking good here.
And remember, A Charlie Brown Christmas is meant to be uplifting and heartwarming.
On a happier Charlie Brown Christmas note, here‘s everything you ever wanted to know about the soundtrack album and its multiple releases. Including where to find the piece of music that plays when Snoopy decorates his doghouse for the contest.