A First Things article on the first "Peanuts" TV special. A Christmas gem from towards the end of the golden era. Interestingly, as the writer notes, much public life then, including TV, was secular, but not secularist. Christmas carols that aren't hymns, "Season's Greetings," etc., were all there. It has its place. Vince Guaraldi got the job because Lee Mendelson liked his '63 hit "Cast Your Fate to the Wind"; "Linus and Lucy" (the "Peanuts" theme) is almost a speeded-up version of it. Also the last years of "Peanuts" being a comic strip for grownups; it became one for children because, the writer says, Charles Schulz needed the money. I knew he lost his faith, like much of Middle America, but yikes:
In 1968, fearful of the potential damage to his reputation and lucrative cartoon empire, Schulz shuttled his oldest daughter—then eighteen, troubled, single, and over three months pregnant—off to an abortion mill in Japan.God have mercy on him. Still, great Christmas show.