A Charlie Brown Christmas is a beloved holiday classic. One of the best moments in the 30-minute animated special is when Charlie Brown passes over the trendy aluminum Christmas trees in favor of a scraggly little tree that “seems to need a home.”
The tree is so little that hanging a single ornament on it makes it bend toward the ground, causing Charlie Brown to cry out, “I’ve killed it. Everything I touch gets ruined.” Fortunately, his friends come together to save the tree, decorating it with ornaments and lights from Snoopy’s doghouse.
Ever since the Peanuts special aired in 1965, Charlie Brown’s awkward little tree has served as a reminder to not forget the true meaning of Christmas amidst the relentless commercialism of the holiday season.
Where to get your own Charlie Brown Christmas tree
A Charlie Brown Christmas might have a message about not getting too caught up in the spend-spend-spend mentality that hits every December. But that hasn’t stopped people from capitalizing on its most iconic image to make a buck. These days, if you can’t find your own scrawny Charlie Brown tree to rescue, you can buy one.
Dozens of retailers sell artificial versions of the iconic Peanuts Christmas tree. A 24-inch version complete with a single red ornament and Linus’s blanket wrapped around the base is $7.99 at Amazon.
Hammacher Schlemmer also sells a 24-inch Charlie Brown Christmas tree that plays the memorable Vince Guaraldi tune from the TV special. It’s normally $29.95 but is currently on sale for $9.95.
Versions of the tree are also for sale at Bed Bath & Beyond, Vermont Country Store, Urban Outfitters, and Home Depot.
In addition to the Charlie Brown tree, you can also buy a replica of Snoopy’s award-winning doghouse from Bed Bath & Beyond or a recording of A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Vince Guaraldi Trio on vinyl from the Vermont Country Store.
Can you still buy aluminum Christmas trees?
Vintage aluminum Christmas trees have become popular again. | Tom Kelley Archive/iStock/Getty Images
While A Charlie Brown Christmas was an instant favorite when it first aired in the mid-1960s, there was one group that wasn’t so in love with the special: The makers of aluminum Christmas trees. The Peanuts program “nearly single-handedly broke the aluminum Christmas tree industry,” according to David Murray of the Great Falls Tribune.
Sales of the colorful artificial trees had been booming before A Charlie Brown Christmas aired. People bought about 150,000 trees in 1964, the year before the Peanuts special debuted. But after the show, the metallic trees became a symbol of the crass commercialism of the holiday season. Sales plummeted (not helped by the introduction of more realistic looking artificial trees). By 1970, the main manufacturer had ceased making the aluminum trees.
Of course, what goes around comes around, and a few decades later nostalgic baby boomers and their retro-obsessed kids were on the hunt for the trees. Today, vintage Evergleam aluminum trees can sell on eBay for hundreds of dollars. Modern versions, like a vintage-style one from Etsy, a prelit silver tree from Hayneedle, or a trendy rose gold version from Walmart are also available, though they may not be made out of aluminum.
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