Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking

Review by KC Carlson

Over the years, Charles M. Schulz’s classic Peanuts strip had a very close relationship to Christmas. Each December, Schulz always presented Christmas stories, frequently featuring the kids writing to Santa (with mixed results). The very first Peanuts TV special was the instant classic A Charlie Brown Christmas — still shown every Christmas since its debut in 1965. The special is many people’s favorite, largely due to Schulz’s unique combination of cynicism and spirituality. And several generations of children in the 1960s and 1970s found the latest Peanuts strip compilation either under their Christmas tree or in their stocking!

Fantagraphics continues the tradition of combining Peanuts and Christmas with a special holiday release of Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking, a new collection of rare Peanuts material from the 1960s. The book contains two stories published in magazines and not since reprinted. “Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking” is a set of 15 panels in which all of the then-current Peanuts cast comment on the season. It originally appeared in Good Housekeeping in 1963. The second piece, “The Christmas Story”, features Linus, Lucy, and Snoopy in a short story originally published in Woman’s Day in 1968. In it, Snoopy is overwhelmed by conflicting Christmas information provided by the Van Pelts.

The book also features brief histories of the pieces, as well as a short biography of Schulz. Best of all, the book is a small, 56-page, two-color hardcover in a format similar to the original Happiness Is a Warm Puppy books (6” x 6”), so it will fit comfortably next to them on your bookshelf!

Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking is the perfect stocking stuffer for any Peanuts fan — which is probably most of the planet! (The publisher provided a copy for review.)

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