Wednesday, December 7

Charlie Tells and Sells True Christmas

In an era when even the word Christmas is painted as offensive, Charlie's simple tale about the true meaning of Christmas complete (let me hear the gasps) with the reading of the Christmas story straight from the book of Luke continues to be a roaring success story.

The first broadcast was watched by almost 50% of the nation's viewers. "When I started reading the reviews, I was absolutely shocked," says Melendez, 89. "They actually liked it!"

And when the program airs today at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, it will mark its 40th anniversary - a run that has made it a staple of family holiday traditions and an icon of American pop culture. The show won an Emmy and a Peabody award and began a string of more than two dozen Peanuts specials.

Last year, 13.6 million people watched it, making it the 18th-most-popular show on television the week it aired; CSI was first. One advertiser on the show, financial services giant MetLife, has contracted to use Peanuts characters in its advertising since 1985 and will continue through at least 2012.

Stores and companies have every right to avoid or advance the message of Christmas. Yet, will some elite view that this offends keep them from embracing what Americans are dying to hear? Say Merry Christmas. Read the story. The message it has is greater than the message and PC that tries to swallow it. Again, Merry Christmas!