A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was first broadcast in 1973 and unlike the Christmas and Halloween specials that preceded it, it often gets overlooked, mainly because the special really doesn’t do much. Even that Flashbeagle episode had more going on in it.
There’s no kids dancing. There’s no Great Pumpkin watchers. There’s no psycho stalking by Charlie after that red-head girl whose name is Heather. It’s about a dinner.
The plot has Peppermint Patty inviting herself to a dinner at the Browns. But there’s one problem, Charlie and Sally are going to his grandmother’s. But before he can tell Patty anything, she’s already invited Marcie and Franklin as well. So, Linus tells Charlie to have two dinners, a cheap easy one with Patty and the rest and one at his grandmothers.
This leads to Snoopy, Charlie and Linus making popcorn, toast, pretzel sticks and gummy worms. Patty isn’t happy as she sees that the food isn’t too her liking. In many ways, Patty represents the obnoxious relatives who want everyone else to plan their holidays around them. Charlie Brown could’ve told Patty but he wanted to make her and the others feel like they were welcome.
The saddest part is that a lot of people do that every Thanksgiving or holiday season and still face criticism. I posted in a previous post that we do to much for a holiday that really is only a meal. When I was growing up, that’s all we did. We had a meal. But it seems that even having a meal can become a hassle because of all the work done.
Patty is obviously in the wrong with assuming that someone else should accommodate her because her parents are going to be out of town. While you should open up your homes on Thanksgiving, Patty barges through the front door. Patty is representative of all people who want to make the rules every holiday season. She’s not open to anyone else and when people still try to make the best, it’s not good for her.
This is why I think a lot of people hate Thanksgiving because they still got to follow traditions that should be changed or are expected to cook for people who don’t even appreciate it.
Lately the special has come under fire for the dinner scene where Franklin, who’s black, sitting by himself, and speculation the special is racist. I think I read a story where Bill Melendez who directed the episode was under pressure from CBS out of fear that some affiliates wouldn’t air the episode if Franklin was shown sitting next to the white kids. That’s not the case in Snoopy, Come Home. I’ve always found it more puzzling that Woodstock, the yellow bird that is Snoopy’s friend, enjoys a turkey with Snoopy at the end. I know some birds eat other birds but Woodstock is far from a raptor.
Regardless, I still find myself watching this every year and like it just as much as the other specials, except for those weird ones they made after Charles Schulz died.