The turkey may still be on the table, but for some people, the Christmas season has already begun. With Thanksgiving behind us (almost), it’s time to start thinking about trees, presents, and mistletoe. Oh, and all the many holiday specials that air on TV every year.
One of the earliest and most enduring of these Christmas specials is A Charlie Brown Christmas. The 1965 cartoon offers an antidote to the holiday madness as it touches on seasonal sadness, loneliness, and the relentless commercialization of the holiday.
‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ airs December 5
This year, A Charlie Brown Christmas airs Thursday, December 5 at 8/7c on ABC. The 30-minute feature will be followed by Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales. After the Peanuts specials, ABC will broadcast a new original holiday movie with Lea Michele called Same Time, Next Christmas.
Several other Peanuts specials will air throughout the holiday season. I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown airs Sunday, December 22 at 7/6c, also on ABC. On December 26 at 8/7c, the network will broadcast Happy New Year, Charlie Brown followed by She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown.
‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ isn’t on Netflix
Unfortunately, A Charlie Brown Christmas isn’t on Netflix or other streaming services like Disney+ or Hulu. However, you can rent a digital copy of the special on Amazon for $3.98 or purchase it for $14.98. It’s also available for purchase or rent on iTunes and Vudu.
When are ‘Rudolph,’ ‘Frosty’ and other classic holiday specials on TV?
A Charlie Brown Christmas isn’t the only vintage Christmas special on TV this year. Here’s when some of your favorites will air.
Frosty the Snowman: Jimmy Durante provides the voice of Frosty in this 1969 animated special. It airs Friday, November 29 at 8/7c on CBS. It’s followed by Frosty Returns at 8:30. You can also catch it on Friday, December 6 at 8/7c on Freeform. It airs several more times on Freeform through Christmas Day.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: There have been a couple of remakes, but for purists, the 1966 animated special featuring the voice of Boris Karloff is the only adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s classic story worth watching. It airs on Tuesday, December 3 at 8/7c on NBC and again on Christmas Day at the same time.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Who doesn’t love the charming stop-motion animation of this 1964 Christmas special from Rankin/Bass? It’s on CBS on Monday, December 2 at 8/7c. Rudolph also airs on Freeform on Friday, December 6 at 8:30/7:30c and repeats multiple times throughout the season.
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town: Another Rankin/Bass production, this 1970 special narrated by Fred Astaire is on ABC on Sunday, December 1 at 8/7c and on Freeform on Friday, December 20 at 4:40/3:40c. It airs several more time through December 25.
The Little Drummer Boy: You’ll have to stay up late or get up early to catch this stop-motion animated special. It airs Monday, December 2 at 1:30 a.m. and again at 7 a.m., with several repeats through December.