In what has been done holiday tradition (and after free view windows for Nuts Halloween and Special thanks), A Charlie Brown Christmas be streaming for free on Apple TV+ on Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17.
If you are an Apple TV + subscriber, of course, you can watch it at any time of the year, but non-subscribers should take advantage if they want to watch the special for free. First broadcast on CBS on December 9, 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas written by Nuts creator Charles M. Schulz and directed by Bill Melendez (who also “voiced” Snoopy); it won a Peabody Award and an Emmy and was a perennial broadcast staple during the holidays until Apple TV+ acquired the rights in 2020.
The soundtrack features signature tunes like Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time Is Here” and “Linus and Lucy,” as well as traditional Christmas carols and a little Beethoven, for Schroeder fans. The story features Charlie Brown—unexpectedly tapped to direct the local Christmas pageant—despairing in the face of holiday commercialism, including Snoopy’s quest to win a decorating contest (naturally which he did). Although its apparent Biblical content feels a little surprising in 2023, its underlying message is more about finding fellowship during the holidays, with the help of a particularly raw Christmas tree — perhaps the most iconic image from the special’s 58-year history.
If you miss the free window, A Charlie Brown Christmas is on Apple TV+ all year.