Charlie Brown Christmas (U.S. 2015)

Updated October 1st:: Photos from the ceremony by VSC member Chris Lazaroff: laz_cbxmas02laz_cbxmas01“A Charlie Brown Christmas” producer Lee Mendelson.

And photos from the USPS:

Lee Mendelson and Jean Schulz

Jean Schulz

Lee Mendelson

Updated September 3rd:: The first day cancels. cbx_dcp_vscThe DCP cancel measures 3.0″x1.85″. cbx_bw_vscThe B&W pictorial measures 1.99″x1.46″. cbx_spec_vscThis special cancellation, which other post offices than Santa Rosa may use, measures 2.99″x1.32″.

Updated September 3rd: USPS press release:
s_cbchristmas

Charlie Brown Christmas Forever Stamps Bring Cheer to Holiday Greetings and Packages
Stamps Based on 1965 Holiday TV Classic

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service begins celebrating the holiday season by dedicating the Charlie Brown Christmas Forever stamps Oct. 1. The booklet of 20 stamps features 10 still frames from the 1965 TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (two of each design) celebrating the classic’s 50th anniversary.

The official dedication ceremony will take place at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA, at 9 a.m. PT. The event is free and open to the public and the stamps will be available nationwide that day. Customers may pre-order the stamps now through this link only for delivery shortly after Oct. 1.

Scheduled to join Postmaster General Megan Brennan at the ceremony are: Schulz’s widow Jean Schulz; Schulz’s son Craig Schulz; and, A Charlie Brown Christmas Executive Producer Lee Mendelson.

cbxdcpThe stamp images include: Charlie Brown holding the sapling that eventually becomes his Christmas tree; Charlie Brown and Pigpen with a snowman; Snoopy and children ice skating; the cast of the program gathered around the Christmas tree; Linus kneeling by the sparsely decorated Christmas tree; Charlie Brown checking his mailbox for a Christmas card; Charlie Brown and Linus leaning on a snowy brick wall; Charlie Brown and Linus standing by the Christmas tree; a frustrated Charlie Brown standing in front of Snoopy’s doghouse; and, Charlie Brown decorating the tree in front of the prize-winning lights display on Snoopy’s doghouse. Art director Antonio Alcalá Alexandria VA, designed the stamps.

The early October release of the stamp coincides with the Peanuts comic strip debut in seven newspapers on Oct. 2, 1950: The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Allentown Call-Chronicle, The Bethlehem Globe-Times, The Denver Post, and The Seattle Times. When Schulz announced his retirement in December 1999, the Peanuts comic strip was syndicated in more than 2,600 newspapers worldwide, with book collections translated in more than 21 languages.

The Christmas Classic
“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the first animated special featuring characters from Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip Peanuts, aired on CBS the evening of Dec. 9, 1965. Over the years, the ode to the holiday season has become a tradition. The program now airs annually on ABC.

cbxfdcWork began on “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in the spring of 1965, when Schulz met with producer Lee Mendelson and animator Bill Melendez. Instead of hiring adult actors, the group decided to take the then-unusual step of having children provide voices for most of the characters.

Schulz insisted that the program should not have a laugh track, which he considered cynical and unnecessary. “Let the people at home enjoy the show at their own speed,” he said, “in their own way.” Composer Vince Guaraldi contributed a memorable jazz score. “Linus and Lucy,” a lively piano tune that plays in the film, is still synonymous with Peanuts.

Schulz’s script focuses on Charlie Brown’s search for the true meaning of Christmas. All around him, his friends are enjoying themselves, but he is bothered by the season’s commercialism. “I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess,” he tells Linus. “I like getting presents, and sending Christmas cards, and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy.”

At Lucy’s request, Charlie Brown agrees to direct their school’s Christmas play. The production is temporarily derailed when the other children laugh at him for choosing a small sapling — not a shiny aluminum replica — as a Christmas tree. After an exasperated Charlie Brown wonders if there’s anyone who knows what Christmas is all about, Linus says that he does, and proceeds to recite a stirring rendition of the biblical Nativity story. When he’s finished, he picks up his blanket and says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

Encouraged, Charlie Brown rushes home to decorate his small tree, only to be disappointed again when it collapses under the weight of one ornament. His pals, however, come to the rescue, turning the sapling into a glimmering masterpiece.

Watched in more than 15 million American homes, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was a smash hit. It won the George Foster Peabody Award and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is being issued as Forever stamps that will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.

From the Postal Bulletin:
How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at http://www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

A Charlie Brown Christmas Stamps
Special Events
PO Box 7838
San Francisco, CA 94120-7838

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by November 30, 2015.

There are eight philatelic products for this stamp issue:

  • cbxframed680206 Press Sheet with Die-cut, $78.40 (print quantity 500).
  • 680208 Press Sheet without Die-cut, $78.40 (print quantity 1,500).
  • 680210 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake (Random), $11.95.
  • 680216 First-Day Cover, set of 10, $9.30.
  • 680221 Digital Color Postmark, set of 10, $16.40.
  • 680224 Framed Art, $39.95. [shown on the right]
  • 680230 Ceremony Program (Random), $6.95.
  • 680231 Stamp Deck Card (Random), $0.95.

Technical Specifications:

Issue: A Charlie Brown Christmas Stamps
Item Number: 680200
Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail Forever
Format: Double-Sided Booklet of 20 (10 designs)
Series: Holiday Celebrations
Issue Date & City: October 1, 2015, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Art Director: Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA
Designer: Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA
Modeler: Donald Woo
Manufacturing Process: Offset, Microprint
Printer: Banknote Corporation of America/SSP
Printed at: Browns Summit, NC
Press Type: Alprinta 74
Stamps per Booklet: 20
Print Quantity: 500 million stamps
Paper Type: Phosphor Tagged, Block Tagging
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
Processed at: Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit, NC
Colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
Stamp Orientation: Horizontal
Image Area (w x h): 1.05 x 0.77 in./26.67 x 19.56 mm
Stamp Size (w x h): 1.19 x 0.91 in./30.22 x 23.11 mm
Full Booklet Size (w x h): 5.74 x 2.38 in./145.88 x 60.33 mm
Press Sheet Size (w x h): 11.49 x 9.5 in./291.74 x 241.3 mm
Plate Size: 160 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “S” followed by four (4) single digits
Marginal Markings: Plate numbers in peel strip area • © 2015 • USPS in peel strip area

s_cbchristmas10 designs (click on the picture for a larger view)
FDOI: October 1 in Santa Rosa, CA at the Charles M. Schultz Museum and Research Center
Format: Booklet of 20

On December 9, 1965, millions of Americans learned what Christmas is all about. That evening, A Charlie Brown Christmas, the first animated special featuring characters from Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip Peanuts, aired on CBS.

Over the years, watching the beautifully understated ode to the holiday season has become an annual tradition. The program now airs every year on ABC.

The art features 10 still frames from A Charlie Brown Christmas (two of each design).

They include:

  • Charlie Brown holding the sapling that eventually becomes his Christmas tree
  • Charlie Brown and Pigpen with a snowman
  • Snoopy and children ice skating
  • The cast of the program gathering around the Christmas tree
  • Linus kneeling by the sparsely decorated Christmas tree
  • Charlie Brown checking his mailbox for a Christmas card
  • Charlie Brown and Linus leaning on a snowy brick wall
  • Charlie Brown and Linus standing by the tree
  • A frustrated Charlie Brown standing in front of Snoopy’s doghouse
  • Charlie Brown decorating the tree in front of the prize-winning lights display on Snoopy’s doghouse.

Art Director: Antonio Alcalá

cbxmas_mailboxFrom the briefing at StampShow on August 20, 2015: The art of Charlie checking his mailbox will also be used on USPS self-service kiosks.

The Peanuts comic strip debuted on October 1, 1950 (Wikipedia says October 2nd) and the Schulz family requested October 1st as the first day date (65th anniversary).

5 thoughts on “Charlie Brown Christmas (U.S. 2015)

  1. I am so excited about this one! This cartoon has been a Christmas favorite for years, and it has become a tradition in our house to watch this right after dinner every year…. Looking forward to making/collecting a nice variety of FDCs for this one!

  2. Something was going on that night and my sister and I missed the premier broadcast. We were completely out of the club next day of school. 50 years! Another thing to make me feel old.

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