Starting tomorrow: Get “A Charlie Brown Christmas” stamps celebrating 50 years of this classic

charlie brown christmasTo mark the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the U.S.P.S. is issuing a collection of Forever stamps depicting 10 scenes from this beloved show. Go get ’em starting tomorrow, October 1.

charlie brown christmasI’m super excited because — like many of you — I grew up watching this Christmas classic and have always been a huge fan of Schultz’s Peanuts characters in all their adventures — both in comic strips and film. These stamps will be the postage of choice on all of my holiday cards this year! 

From the press release:

Charlie Brown Christmas Forever Stamps Bring Cheer to Holiday Greetings and Packages
Stamps Based on 1965 Holiday TV Classic

The U.S. Postal Service begins celebrating the holiday season by dedicating the Charlie Brown Christmas Forever stamps Oct. 1. The booklet of 20 stamps features 10 still frames from the 1965 TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (two of each design) celebrating the classic’s 50th anniversary.

charlie brown christmas

The stamp images include: Charlie Brown holding the sapling that eventually becomes his Christmas tree; Charlie Brown and Pigpen with a snowman; Snoopy and children ice skating; the cast of the program gathered around the Christmas tree; Linus kneeling by the sparsely decorated Christmas tree; Charlie Brown checking his mailbox for a Christmas card; Charlie Brown and Linus leaning on a snowy brick wall; Charlie Brown and Linus standing by the Christmas tree; a frustrated Charlie Brown standing in front of Snoopy’s doghouse; and, Charlie Brown decorating the tree in front of the prize-winning lights display on Snoopy’s doghouse.

Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps.

charlie brown christmas

The early October release of the stamp coincides with the Peanuts comic strip debut in seven newspapers on Oct. 2, 1950: The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Allentown Call-Chronicle, The Bethlehem Globe-Times, The Denver Post, and The Seattle Times. When Schulz announced his retirement in December 1999, the Peanuts comic strip was syndicated in more than 2,600 newspapers worldwide, with book collections translated in more than 21 languages.

charlie brown christmas

The Christmas Classic

“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the first animated special featuring characters from Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip Peanuts, aired on CBS the evening of Dec. 9, 1965. Over the years, the ode to the holiday season has become a tradition. The program now airs annually on ABC.

charlie brown christmas

Work began on “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in the spring of 1965, when Schulz met with producer Lee Mendelson and animator Bill Melendez.

Instead of hiring adult actors, the group decided to take the then-unusual step of having children provide voices for most of the characters. 

Schulz insisted that the program should not have a laugh track, which he considered cynical and unnecessary. “Let the people at home enjoy the show at their own speed,” he said, “in their own way.”

Composer Vince Guaraldi contributed a memorable jazz score. “Linus and Lucy,” a lively piano tune that plays in the film, is still synonymous with Peanuts.

charlie brown christmas

Schulz’s script focuses on Charlie Brown’s search for the true meaning of Christmas. All around him, his friends are enjoying themselves, but he is bothered by the season’s commercialism. “I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess,” he tells Linus. “I like getting presents, and sending Christmas cards, and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy.” 

At Lucy’s request, Charlie Brown agrees to direct their school’s Christmas play. The production is temporarily derailed when the other children laugh at him for choosing a small sapling — not a shiny aluminum replica — as a Christmas tree.

charlie brown christmas

After an exasperated Charlie Brown wonders if there’s anyone who knows what Christmas is all about, Linus says that he does, and proceeds to recite a stirring rendition of the biblical Nativity story. When he’s finished, he picks up his blanket and says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

charlie brown christmas

Encouraged, Charlie Brown rushes home to decorate his small tree, only to be disappointed again when it collapses under the weight of one ornament. His pals, however, come to the rescue, turning the sapling into a glimmering masterpiece. 

Watched in more than 15 million American homes, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was a smash hit. It won the George Foster Peabody Award and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program. 

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is being issued as Forever stamps that will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.

charlie brown christmas

Who else is running to the post office to buy these?

Are you a fan, too?

  1. Dan says:

    It certainly brings back great memories for me as well, sitting on the floor with my three brothers waiting impatiently in front of our RCA color console television for CBS is bringing us a Special Presentation tonight. And who cannot forget the Dolly Madison snack cakecommercials they showed at each break? I can think of at at least 10 more stills that the USPS could do of this iconic mid century Christmas Special. The group dance scene on the gymnasium floor, Linus in the spotlight conveying the true meaning of Christmas, Lucy receiving her nickel fee for advice and joyfully jingling the tin can, Schroeder with a look of contempt while playing Jungle Bells with one finger as if on a toy piano.

  2. Kelly says:

    2 years ago, I randomly met Lee Mendelson, the producer, as he was working on the 50th anniversary plans. how many 80-something’s are flying to LA for work?!? I hadn’t thought about this until I saw this news about the stamps, so I’m thrilled all over again. He also produced Garfield animated specials, my favorite feline fellow lasagna fan from back in the day. There is a very interesting special feature on the Charlie Brown Christmas DVD from a few years ago in which he is interviewed about the special, and the backstory is really amazing.

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