Chasing Cheerios

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Charlie Brown's Christmas

For O's 8th day advent activity we all watched Charlie Brown's Christmas together. This was a special treat since O only watches tv on special occasions. She was very excited, and she enjoyed the show. Elliott and I weren't thrilled by the kids on the show calling each other "stupid," hitting, and just acting mean. Hopefully, O didn't notice those parts of the story :)


  1. I watched The Great Pumpkin with my daughter this year, and I was surprised by the "un-PC behavior," too. But she loved the show!

  2. SOOOOO funny you mentioned this - I downloaded the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving to mu iPod and was very excited to see it with Amelia only to be shocked at the "language" in it. Calling someone stupid in the first scene did not sit well with me. I am very happy I previewed it so I could pass on it this year. Maybe we will just skip to the Linus on stage scene and call it done for the Christmas one.

    The sad thing is, I know she would LOVE watching Snoopy and Woodstock. LOL

    Boy, it sure is tough being a Mom these days. :)

    Thanks for the smile.

  3. I am always irritated by things like this. We don't watch "old" programmes as when I checked some of them out I am really surprised that I was allowed to watch them " but then "back in the day" but then I guess those days were different.

    I have a tv (which I am working on getting rid off, well I want a tv with dvd) with access to a kids channel, and whilst I know that tv really helped Egg with his speech(autism)the amount of pointless incorrect information drives me nuts. But I am hard to please, I am the same with books :0) Nobody buys Egg a book but me, so now he is getting crazy books home from school I am a little unsettled!

  4. We got the old classics for my daughter and she LOVES Frosty and Rudolph. I cringe, however, every time we watch them because of the borderline bad behavior and disrespect.

  5. I know what you're talking about. While I love Charlie Brown's Christmas, I am also bothered by how often the word "stupid" is used. My kids know that's a no-no word here in our home, so it's difficult when they then see it on a children's show.

  6. We don't really watch tv with our daughter yet much (she's under 2). I watch these Christmas specials every year, though. I was shocked the first time I watched them again to see how much inappropriate language was in them. However, I'm ok with it for these reasons: they're not age appropriate for my daughter. Maybe in a few years, but she's too young now anyway - would have been 20 years ago, too. Also, the kids calling each other names - they are being mean to each other, and that's not shown as a good thing. I like the Peanuts way - he just shows what the kids are doing without inherent judging. I don't need the cartoon to do my parenting - I can talk to my child about how that makes Charlie Brown feel (Charles Shultz was Charlie Brown - I doubt he was advocating meanness) and why we don't treat each other that way. I like the non-commercial aspect of it, as opposed to, say, Little Pet Shop.

  7. Becky: Will the scene at end with Linus have the same impact without the story in front of it?

  8. i never remembered it being so mean until I watched it with's crazy how much more you notice when there's a toddler watching with you!

  9. THANK YOU "Fun Mama" & Sarah!

    I believe this is one of the most sweet and innocent cartoons ever made, and I hope that people can see past the surface and appreciate the deeper meaning presented here.

    The point is, Charles Schultz is NOT glorifying meanness or rude behavior. He is demonstrating how people can sometimes miss the true spirit of Christmas by being greedy, selfish, or downright mean. But in the end, the children in the show feel touched by the holiday message and change their tune. What the show really promotes is kindness, humility and service to our fellow human beings. All good messages, I think, and well worth the time it might take to tell your child "that's right, it's not nice to call someone that name, is it?"

    There are so many things out there that we really DO need to shield our kids from (Brittney Spears and Hannah Montana come to mind). But let's not go overboard. In life, there are ups and downs, good things and bad. You can't appreciate the sweet without the bitter. I believe it actually helps make our kids better, more empathetic young people. Especially when they are lucky enough to have a concerned parent to share these experiences with, and to talk about what they see and hear.

    I watched this cartoon every Christmas for the past 32 years, and I don't remember the name calling or poor behavior. All I remember is feeling sympathetic for Charlie Brown and wanting to be kind to those like him. Hopefully that is what my children will get out of it, as well.

    Sorry about the long post, but I just had to share my views. Thanks for sharing a great and enjoyable blog!

  10. Wow, I'm surprised that this post has generated so many comments :) I also didn't remember the mean and rude behavior either. My main concern is that at 2 years old, O is constantly mimicking the behavior that she sees and hears. I don't want her to start hitting or saying "stupid." However, throughout the show we talked about what we saw to help her understand. She recognized that the rude behavior was "naughty," and she referred to Lucy as the "mean girl." So...I think she gets that the behavior was unacceptable, and I'm hoping that she will have benefitted from watching the show. I know that she enjoyed it. We did decide to skip the Peanuts show that was on after the Charlie Brown's Christmas show. It started off violently, and I'm not familiar with it at all, so we decided it was time for bed :)
    Thanks for the discussion :)

  11. I was very surprised and frustrated by this as well. It's amazing the different things you notice when watching with a little one.