There are not many Thanksgiving media traditions; the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the only one I knew growing up, so I thought I would start one with my son this afternoon. I browsed Amazon looking for something easily enjoyable with a light message, and found a no-brainer winner: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. This is not a Charlie Brown that my parents kept in their holiday arsenal when I was a child and because I hadn’t seen it before either it made it more fun to be sharing in something new to both myself and my son.
As I started the twenty-two minute classic sitting next to my son, I wondered if the hand drawn cartoon would hold his attention like the slick computer animated cartoons made today. My answer fell upon me quickly, with the first silly sound effect, when Lucy lifts the football at just the last second before Charlie Brown kicks it and he falls flat on his back, I could tell by the boisterous laughter from my son that the show had captured his attention. We watched the Peanuts gather around a tablecloth covered ping-pong table to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal of buttered toast and popcorn, and my son laughed at the muted trombone voices of the adults and the frustrated arguing between Snoopy and Woodstock.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is an effortlessly entertaining watch and does not disappoint with the compulsory lesson, this time offered by Marcy: Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for being together. While not quite as poignant a lesson as that of Linus’ speech in the Christmas edition, it is a valuable lesson just the same.
If you are looking for a new tradition to add to the evening before or on the day of Thanksgiving give A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving a chance, my son’s laughter was all the endorsement I needed, and I think your children will enjoy it just the same.