MERRY CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN
You know you should be happy around Christmas, but some years, you end up feeling a little letdown. Don’t worry—you’re in good company. Charlie Brown has been there and done that, since 1965. If you watch any animated Christmas special this year, make it A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s had a 50-year run for a reason: it’s true to life, and has an awesome, unexpected moment of grace.
THE AWESOME, REALISTIC DOWNER CARTOON
A Charlie Brown Christmas is about a group of bratty kindergartners and Charlie Brown, the quintessential sad sack, trying to put together a Christmas play. And as if wrangling a dozen uncooperative, 3-foot-tall diva-thespians wasn’t hard enough, Charlie Brown also has to contend with seasonal affective disorder. In a final act of desperation to set the proper holiday mood, Charlie Brown goes out with his blanket-toting comrade Linus to buy a Christmas tree for the set. Charlie Brown proudly returns with the crummiest tree from the lot only to be insulted by his fellow kindergartners for being such an idiot and ruining the play.