I am so pleased to share with you that I was recently selected as a Peanuts Ambassador. A huge part of this includes celebrating the fact that this December marks the 50th year that A Charlie Brown Christmas! has been airing on television. I know that it is, and always has been, a very special part of our Christmas celebration and I am so happy to see that it has carried over through several generations.
As part of my ambassador role, I had the opportunity join in on an interview with several other bloggers and Jill Schulz, the daughter of Peanuts creator Charles M. Shultz. She shared with us her personal memories of her father, their traditions and the different ways that her life was touched by A Charlie Brown Christmas and the wonderful legacy that was left by her father.
Here are a few bits and pieces from our interview:
Q: What was it like to celebrate Christmas in the Schulz family?
Jill: I always had great memories of it, but to us, that’s just how our Christmas was. Back then, there was not as much merchandise, publicity, worldwide status for Peanuts and Snoopy. We had a pretty typical Christmas, except that we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve. Typically, we’d have neighborhood friends and kids coming over and my mom cooked a great big dinner. Then we’d wait for Santa Claus, I’d always sneak back down and open a window because I thought there was no way he could fit down the chimney. In the morning, we’d get a special present. One year I got a puppy, but it was a little disconcerting because I thought I was getting an Old English Sheepdog like the one from Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, but my puppy wasn’t furry and didn’t have a tail.
Once the TV show came out, that became a tradition: both Christmas and Halloween, they became something we’d gather around TV to watch. But to me, it just seemed like a normal family Christmas.
Q: Why do you suppose after 50 years, it’s still resonating with people?
Jill: Because the characters, the experiences they have, in the strip and the TV show are things that every generation has, does, and will continue to experience in life. Football with Charlie Brown. Everyone experiences losing. Everyone comments on commercialism. It’s been happening for years, will continue to happen. Siblings teasing each other, fighting, even if they love each other.
All of these things are extensions of his own personality or things he would observe in others. He was always observing everybody, whether in the coffee shop at the ice rink, or on trips. He was a great observer of human nature. Like many of us, he hung onto and had a clear vision of his feelings as a child. That comes across in the strip and the special.
Jill was so wonderful to speak with. Very down to earth and enjoyable. I loved hearing her stories and reflections and I can’t imagine what it must be like for her to see the wonderful reach that these characters have and how much that they mean to people all over the world!
And, if you are like me… you might have very fond memories of A Charlie Brown Christmas! It is one of my all time favorites and of course, my favorite part is sweet little Linus giving his speech about the true meaning of Christmas. It’s one that I never get tired of and I love sharing it with my kids:
Happiness IS all things Snoopy. I have so many fond childhood memories that come up when I think of Charlie Brown and the gang. I used to love to read the comic strip in the paper. I had a Snoopy Brusha Brush toothbrush and I LOVED my Snoopy Sno Cone machine! I can’t think of a better word to describe Peanuts than: JOY. What a wonderful blessing these characters have been and I am thrilled to be sharing them with my kids!
The BEST part….the Giveaway: ONE lucky SheSaved reader will win (US only) a wonderful Peanuts prize package which will include:
- A soft and huggable Snoopy Plush (it’s so soft!)
- A Be Joyful book to keep you in a Peanuts spirit year-round
I will leave this giveaway open until Tuesday night, September 16th(mnt time) … once closed, I will select one winner who will have 48 hours to contact me to claim their prize! GOOD LUCK!!