How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Charlie Brown & Halloween PB&Js of the Heart

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Charlie Brown Halloween Great Pumpkin Memorial Logo
 

When we grow up, we tie some of the things we experience together; associations. Things that will forever remind us of other things later. They’re little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches of the heart.

For me, the peanut butter I’m talking about is Halloween and the jelly is It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

When I grew up and saw Charlie Brown again through adult eyes, I was astonished.

As a kid I loved it, but it took me growing up to realize how deep the undercurrents were and how advanced the vocabulary was; monologues that should have had a kid yawning convulsively in fit of twitchy boredom.

I could now see how these “cartoons” were dramatizing emotions and life dynamics so universal that they were as real to a child as they are to an adult. Neat trick. Crashed my hard drive with genius overload.

I’m not sure what children’s entertainment – books, shows, music, movies, PEZ dispensers – my kids or future kids will associate with their Halloween. But I do know… it will suck! Hah! For all the amazing opportunities and things kids have access to in the world today, I can say smugly that I think I enjoyed better PB&Js of the heart when it came to Halloween.

You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

-Andy

Holidays at HowToBeADad.com
Some more holiday related blarg from Charlie and Andy.

Tranquoo Child Anti-Wakefulness System
You’re going to want to sign a petition for the legal manufacture of this product concept. Especially once they’re hopped up on Halloween candy.
 

20 Comments

20 Responses to “Charlie Brown & Halloween PB&Js of the Heart”

  1. With you on that one Andy. May not have had access to all the gadgets back then, but we had good TV. Plus, we got to go out and “play” games with our pals.
    I’m pretty lucky with my 7 year old. She has Nintendo stuff, which she only really uses when the weather is too bad to go outside and play. She loves being outdoors more than anything.
    I also think that those messages from them shows are subliminally planted into our subconscience as youngsters, only to resurface when our brain properly “wakes up” and decodes them as we get older!

  2. Micah says:

    Charlie Brown is great for holidays. Everyone knows about Charlie Brown Christmas trees. I need to watch the Great Pumpkin again. I haven’t seen it in years!

    BTW Andy and Charlie. I love seeing your pins on my Pinerest wall. I thought you guys might appreciate my Man’s Guide To Pinterest.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O35K_BROnzc

    • Andy says:

      That’s the thing! I don’t think everyone knows about Charlie Brown Christmas trees!!! But I did see it sold as a little hipster novelty product at Urban Outfitters last year, so… there’s hope!

      Thanks for the love and the share.

      • WeirdFish says:

        Depends on where you look, but around these parts, the Charlie Brown X-mas tree replica is available just about anywhere — Rite-Aid, K-Mart, etc.

  3. ShanMerrie says:

    Knowing exactly what you are describing, I had to laugh at “little peanut butter & jelly sandwiches of the heart.” Once I actually had an argument with a health nut (NUT, ha!)about the nostalgia of PB&J sandwiches, but my misty eyed reminiscing just got me mocked. I have a feeling you are a kindred spirit, though. Give me my fat, sugar, and highly pixelated video games any day.

    And yes, oldschool cartoons blow all this Japanime out of the water. Kids these days don’t know what they’re missing.

    • Andy says:

      Health nuts take special classes in mocking, don’t take it personally. ;) I watch most cartoons these days with a certain amount of horror. I think you’re right about the kindredness, as evidenced by my avatar.

  4. Scatha Pennicat says:

    This article made me chuckle. I just bought the DVD this morning because I walked by it at the store and felt nostalgic. I want my kids to grow up watching it every year during the holidays. Also picked up Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Now I just have to get the Christmas one. Garfield is also among my fave holiday jelly flavors. (I don’t know if that made sense.)

  5. Sarah says:

    Yes. I love Charlie Brown. And that love has been passed to my child. Sure, right now she just loves the music from Charlie Brown’s Christmas, but dammit, I’m sure she’ll love It’s the Great Pumpkin as well. She brought in her favourite Christmas ornament for Show & Tell (a dancing Snoopy & Woodstock) and we were supposed to write down guesses, naturally I wrote, “his best friend is Charlie Brown,” and you know what? NO ONE GUESSED IT.

    Kids these days.

  6. Tracy says:

    Swoon….love me some Peanuts!

  7. Andrew says:

    Love the peanuts. I cry ever time I see Charlie brown salute snoopy when he walks out the door. Patiently waiting for 2.5 year to understand it.

  8. WeirdFish says:

    Two things.
    1) I learned a lot of my advanced vocabulary as a child from both the Charlie Brown cartoon specials as well as the compiled comics in book form. I found all of my old Charlie Brown books when cleaning up my mom’s house, and am saving those for my son.

    2) Here in the Midwest, about equidistant between Detroit and Cleveland, is Cedar Point, an amusement park. The Charles Schultz/Charlie Brown Empire has a significant presence at Cedar Point (and at one of Cedar Fair, Inc.’s other properties, Michigan Adventure). From mid-September to the end of October is Halloweekends, where the entire park changes over to a Halloween theme and open only on weekends. The last few years, my wife and I made it a point to go annually during Halloweekends and stay at one of the on-site hotels.

    Because of the Snoopy/Charlie Brown theme, that hotel has Great Pumpkin on infinite loop on a TV in the lobby, complete with little-kid sized chairs surrounding it.

    Makes for a great, comfortable throwback memory, and the last time we went (2010), we hoped as we sat in those uncomfortable little chairs that we’d get to do that with our own kids.

    Epilogue: we didn’t go last year because my wife discovered she was pregnant :) So yay! Now I just have to wait for the boy to … y’know … start walking. Communicating as a functional human. Hold his head upright….

  9. Laurie says:

    Couldn’t agree more! Nothing signals Halloween more than Charlie Brown!! When I was a kid my sister and I always always listened to The chipmunks christmas record(!!)while decorating the Christmas tree..My husband doesn’t love it but we always have to now too!
    I LOVE That pumpkin you made!

  10. beki says:

    Totally grew up with Peanuts.. Love all of them as do my children! I have two teenagers and a three year old and we all gather around to watch the specials every holiday. Nothing better than hot cocoa and charlie brown.. makes you feel good inside! (And we also listen to the Frank Sinatra album every Christmas.. I love those J-I-N-G-L-E Bells)

  11. Tony says:

    Great article. Glad to see enough dads out there to show his to their kids. I’ve made this and Merry Christmas CB traditions w/ my boy since he was a newborn. And we love the family bonding when it airs until he “outgrows it” then comes back to it w/ nostalgia with his own kids. Also as an adult, man, the themes in this show from faith, self-esteem, to war blows me away. And Sally’s tirade reminds me of all of my female friends regretting of having hooked up with that hipster artist dude who turns out to be a phony to a T. Thanks for the article

  12. ElectraDaddy says:

    “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” is one of my favorite musicals. The song, Happiness, is a show stealer. Yeah. So I’m a Showtunes Queen stereotype. Big deal. I wear the badge with pride.

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