Charlie Brown is in a Christmas crisis. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, our hero asks everyone he can think of what Christmas is all about? While he learns to cope through the creation of a Christmas pageant, the buying of “the wrong” Christmas tree and the commercialization of Snoopy, he finds his answer was always around him.
Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas for the first time or fifth time with your kids is the perfect opportunity to talk about what the movie means to them. Here are a few topics to explore about the holiday season:
- Christmastime means something different to everyone. Charlie Brown’s biggest concern is that he feels like he doesn’t understand the meaning of Christmas. For some of the people around him, he feels the holiday has been over-commercialized; for others, it’s about the Biblical nature. For your kid’s friends who don’t believe in Christmas, it might mean the understanding of a different holiday. Talk as a family about what does this time of year mean in your household and how others have different traditions.
- Why did Charlie Brown need that tree? Charlie Brown felt the little tree needed him. Charlie used the meaning of Christmas to save something that no one else wanted, not to ask for something for himself. Talk to kids about the tree and what it grew into when everyone added their own love to it.
- It’s OK to not always be happy at Christmastime. Lucy only asked for 5 cents to tell Charlie Brown that even she feels down sometimes at Christmas (though her reasons are commercial). The hustle and bustle of the holidays, especially trying to pick out or make gifts, missing loved ones and over-scheduling, can make kids and adults feel less than enthusiastic. Lucy’s recommendation — involvement. Though for Charlie, it might just be a ploy to pull him into the Christmas play, in the case of your family, consider volunteering or helping neighbors.
Now that you’ve seen A Charlie Brown Christmas, try these limited-screen activities inspired by the movie.
- Build your own Christmas tree. This STEM challenge is great to try as a family! Think about how quickly the ornament bent the Charlie Brown tree. Can your family create a cup-stacking tree that can hold balls?
- Learn to draw Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Your budding artists will love this chance to learn to draw like the pros. This tutorial will teach them how to draw Charlie Brown and Snoopy the way that Charles M. Schultz created his iconic characters.
- Color scenes from the movie. For littles who love to color, these free coloring pages are perfect to relive their favorite scenes.
- Cheer up someone else’s holidays. After your kiddos color their favorite pages, consider sending them to a local nursing home or to Meals on Wheels to give to participants who can’t see family this year.
- Create a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Using these patterns, you can create your own tree adorned with characters from the show.