A Charlie Brown Christmas is and will forever be my favorite of the so-called “Christmas specials.” I could list a hundred personally-speaking psychoanalytical reasons why that is, but I wouldn’t want them to take away from the real reason: It’s just a great cartoon, based on strips from some of Schultz’s best years.
Peanuts was at its best when it made us both understand why everyone always shat on Charlie Brown, but hate them for it all the same. Perhaps the shining example of this was Chuck’s Christmas tree. After buying a woeful, tiny, sad sack of a tree for his friends’ Christmas play in the spirit of genuineness and in spite of commercialization, Charlie Brown catches so much flack from the gang that we were forced to ask, “Why?” We didn’t really need Linus to tell us that it wasn’t a bad tree. We knew that already. It was cute. It was the sick puppy at the pound that probably wasn’t the safest adoption candidate, but obviously the most heartfelt. I can tell I feel strongly about this because I’ve never used the word “heartfelt” in my entire life until just now. I’m still not totally sure it’s even a real word.
When Charlie Brown’s friends finally came around, they dolled up his tree to a barely recognizable degree. It looked nice — great, actually — but I still preferred the original look, simply because it was easy to replicate just by snapping a few loose branches off the trees in my family’s backyard and stealing a red ball ornament from our “real” Christmas tree. While I don’t feel that a person has truly lived until they’ve recreated Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree using household and backyard items, a semi-new item from Urban Outfitters gives you the next best thing: Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree…artificial style.
Sorry for the grainy pic, but the not-grainy pics weren’t as sincere. The kit includes about what you’d expect — the main “tree” component with flexy branches, a couple of wood planks and a single red glass ball ornament. These paltry ingredients conspire to make your coffee table a remarkable point of conversational interest, but even if you don’t have any friends, it’s pretty goshshit awesome to have Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree in your living room.
I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t spend the extra three minutes necessary to pose the branches exactly how they should be posed; just know that if you buy this kit, you can. Further proof of my rushing-to-write-this is evidenced with the still-visible “MADE IN CHINA” sticker on the bottom plank. Considering why Charlie Brown bought the tree in the first place, there’s something terribly ironic about all this.
You can grab this baby for $24 at Urban Outfitters, which is kind of a lot of money considering the simplicity, but not so much when we remember that it’s all packaged in a very nice box with a picture of Charlie Brown frowning on it.