The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas

50 Years of Holiday Comics

Artist: Charles Schulz

Published By: Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Once upon a time there was a child named Charles Schulz, whose kindergarten teacher told him that one day, he would be an artist.  Those words proved to be prophetic, as Charles Schulz grew up to be just that.  Could that teacher have had the slightest inkling that the characters drawn by Schulz would become staples in the lives of millions far and wide?  When he began his first comic strip, could Charles Schulz have imagined his becoming a household name, the characters of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Franklin, Woodstock, Pigpen, and Spike known by children and adults all over the world?  Could he have known how much fans of his comic strip would relate to the characters and cherish for years to come?  The world lost a talented artist on February 12, 2000, when the father of the comic strip, Peanuts, passed away.  In that same year, Hallmark Cards, Inc. published The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas in commemoration of the man toted by Joyce C. Hall, founder of Hallmark Cards, Inc., as being the “cartoon champion of all time.”

            Beginning with an introduction by Donald Hall, Chairman and son of the founder of Hallmark Cards, Inc, The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas contains 50 years of Peanuts holiday comics.  The strips are broken down into decades, beginning with the 1950s and ending with the 1990s.  Leafing through the book, one can see how much more detailed the characters became as the years passed.  Reading through each strip, one is immediately reminded why they were so taken with these characters in the first place.  The strips are wholly enjoyable and elicit many a chuckle.  Dispersed throughout the book are mini biographies of each of the main characters from the Peanuts comic strip.

            Having been a lifelong fan of the comic strip, Snoopy being my favorite character, I was overjoyed to receive this book as a Christmas gift from a longtime friend.  Leafing through it brought me back to my childhood and made me smile.  I challenge anyone to read this book and not find at least one comic strip that they could relate to - from the characters’ struggles with letters to Santa to Charlie Brown’s obsession with building snowmen.  And I surely believe there is not one person who reads this book that will not find a reason to smile.  Who couldn’t smile at the holiday antics of Snoopy, Woodstock and Spike?  The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas made a perfect Christmas present for me and I would recommend it to anyone, young and old.  The characters and situations are timeless and the laughter is priceless.

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