Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Have you ever wished...

for a soundtrack to play during the special times of your life?  I think it has become very apparent what must surely be my Christmas soundtrack. It is the Vince Guaraldi recording for "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

I can't remember a year that this music didn't accompany my Christmas.  Every year as my family decorates the tree, someone will disappear into the other room to find and turn on this family favorite.  Nothing speaks Christmas to my family like this familiar music.

A few days ago, I spotted a book on one of my book shelves.  It called for me to stop whatever I was doing and pull it from the shelf.

This is a fascinating book on many levels.  It includes the entire script of the show, it includes the piano music for a few of the classics, it includes storyboards and production sheets showing the genius and artistry behind the magic. 

It also contains several interviews from principle players in the making of this tradition, including something I had never noticed before:  it actually has pictures of the children that provided the voices for the Peanuts characters.  I especially loved seeing the special boys that portrayed Charlie Brown and Linus, as I have come to love their sweet, unassuming voices.

So last night, seemingly right on cue, A Charlie Brown Christmas was once again shown on prime time television, as it has been every year since 1965.  And even though we have seen it as many times as there have been years that pass, I tuned in again.

I was particularly looking forward to watching it this time because I had this newly-reviewed inside knowledge of how this classic was produced.  And just as it has become with A Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, I know every line by heart, anticipating every inflection, every pause, every exclamation.

Aaaaaaaaggghhhhhh! (delivered in my best Charlie Brown)  It was  ruined!  I spoiled it!  Can it ever be the same?!

Instead of hearing those classic lines delivered by Charlie Brown and Linus, in my head all I could see were the pictures of those two "real" boys.

So I won't ruin it for you.  I won't post pictures of the real boys who provided the real voices.

May it always remain as the makers of this masterpiece intended; the Peanuts characters stepped out of their comic strip world to remind us that even though Christmas seems like it is a big commerical racket, run by a big eastern syndicate, it really is about a miracle in Bethlehem.

"And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

(humming quietly to the tune of Hark the Herald Angels...)


Kim said...

I absolutely love A Charlie Brown Christmas and the accompanying music! I only wish when I played Linus and Lucy I sounded as good as Vince! Great post ~ We have lots in common!

Ivon said...

Merry Christmas! Thanks for your perspective of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Wendy said...

We love this too, along with The Great Pumpkin and the Thanksgiving one too

Erica said...

oh no! i peeked at the book and saw the kids....aaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhh

Laura said...

I haven't seen it for ages and I must be a bad, bad mom - my boys have never seen this!
I heart Linus!

5Youngers said...

I love a Charlie Brown Christmas... I do have to say that the one tale tale sign that it is Christmas in my house for me and my family is when the claymation "Rudolph the Red Nose Reigndeer is on. I just have to stop and watch it. It was my favorite as a kid and I just have to watch it every year along with my kiddos.