Here’s how to watch the classic ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for free this weekend

Charlie Brown and the “Peanuts” gang have been a collective part of our holidays since “A Charlie Brown Christmas” first debuted back in 1965.

Since that time, watching the animated special has become a beloved Christmas tradition for many families, along with listening to Vince Guaraldi’s timeless soundtrack.

The Christmas movie’s message of love and true meaning of the season still manages to bring a tear to the eye when Charlie, Lucy, Sally, Linus and the rest of the gang gather around the tree and sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

Speaking of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, there’s no doubt it has earned a forever home in our hearts.

If the classic holiday movie is on your watchlist and you’re wondering where to stream “A Charlie Brown Christmas” this year, you should know that the animated special no longer airs on network or public television as it once did.

And, unfortunately, you aren’t going to find it on Netflix, Hulu or Disney either.

There’s only one place to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in 2023 and, good news, you can watch it for free this weekend. Yep, you read that right. Free.

Better yet, we’re going to tell you exactly how and where you can stream “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” so you don’t miss a moment of the magic.

To add a bit of extra holiday cheer to your weekend, we’ve also got a few fun facts about the “Peanuts” special so you can impress your friends with your high-level Christmas trivia skills.

Where to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for free

In 2023, the only place to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is on Apple TV+.

In 2018, Apple acquired the rights to “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” along with the rest of the “Peanuts” catalog including other classics like “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”

To watch the animated TV special this year, you’ll need a subscription to Apple TV+. However, in the spirit of the season, the streaming service will be offering non-subscribers a free window in which to catch “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

In 2023, that window occurs this weekend on Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17.

If you’re tied up or have plans, you can still stream “A Charlie Brown Christmas” anytime by signing up for Apple TV+’s 7-day free trial.

What is ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ about?

The first of many animated specials made from Charles Schulz’s comic strip “Peanuts,” the story follows Charlie Brown as he searches for the meaning of Christmas.

Feeling depressed over how materialistic the holiday has become, Charlie Brown agrees to direct a Christmas pageant but is mocked by his friends after he picks a humble Christmas tree that everyone considers a “disaster.”

All ends well when Charlie and the rest of the Peanuts gang realizes that Christmas isn’t about glitzy decorations or a fancy tree at all, but the love of friends and family.

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ trivia

If “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is one of your favorites, here are a few bits of trivia you might not know about the Christmas classic.

  • When “A Charlie Brown Christmas” premiered on Dec. 9, 1965, roughly half of the United States tuned in to watch.

  • “A Charlie Brown Christmas” producer Lee Mendelson wanted to add a laugh track to the animated feature, but creator Charles Schulz refused.

  • Despite concerns over alienating the viewing audience, Charles Schulz insisted on having Linus recite a passage from the Gospel of Luke.

  • According to Recording Industry Association of America, the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has sold more than 5 million copies to date.

  • In 2011, Vince Guaraldi’s iconic soundtrack for “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was inducted into the Library of Congress Music Registry for its cultural significance.

  • In 1966, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program.

  • To make the “Peanuts” characters believable in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Charles Schulz insisted that child actors do the voice-overs.

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