This post originally appeared on Simple Kids in December 2009. I almost added it to my 5 Best Family Christmas Albums list this year, but it’s such a widely popular favorite (I even saw it at my local Starbucks last week) I didn’t want to use up one of the top 5 spots and have you to miss out on some of the new children’s Christmas music choices. However, A Charlie Brown Christmas holds a special place in our house. It’s one of the first Christmas movie nights we let both of our kids stay up for, and it brings back my own fond memories of Christmas as a kid. We don’t let a year go by without spending a little bit of time with Charlie Brown. I hope you will enjoy this repost and the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas as much as I do.
As seems appropriate for this month I’m going to recommend one of my favorite Christmas albums.
But first I want to say – I really love Christmas music! I like to pull out my holiday collection as soon as the season starts and listen throughout. And when it comes to Christmas music I tend to gravitate toward that which makes me feel nostalgic. I love classic tunes by classic artists; I can’t seem to get enough of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in various arrangements.
While the album I’ve chosen for this month doesn’t include that particular song, it’s one that I think will evoke memories of childhood for many of you. If “Wha, wha, wha, wha” reminds you of the sound of an adult speaking, then you’ll know my December recommendation for you as the soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
This album has the sounds of your favorite Peanuts characters combined with a lovely selection of jazzed up instrumental arrangements of some holiday classics. I enjoy the combination of both vocal and instrumental songs; it seems to be the perfect low key mix that you can easily put on in the background of any holiday activity. In fact, I think last year this was the music we played during Christmas breakfast. But no matter what the occasion, it’s great for both adults to sit back and soak in while children dance about.
We have the 2006 Remastered Version, which is the most recent release [Editors note there was also a 2012 Remastered & Expanded Edition released since this post] of the three available versions of the soundtrack. I honestly didn’t realize until researching this review that there were multiple versions available.
Our family has been blissfully ignorant of any other choices and satisfied with this version. But if you prefer the unedited version as heard on the original 60s television show, its also currently available for purchase. You can listen to a sample from all three albums and read more about the controversy at amazon.com.
Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on television each December continues to be a tradition for many families, and if yours is one of those families then I’m sure you will smile as I do when that familiar music starts playing.