Those who know me have heard it many times: A Charlie Brown Christmas is the greatest Christmas special of all time.
Though the show aired before I was born, here is evidence that CBS has been run by idiots long before Dan Rather was king there. According to this USA Today article, CBS execs didn't like it because it had no laugh track, used real kids voices, had Guaraldi's jazz soundtrack, and had a longish Scripture quotation.
Newsflash! These are the things that make it great. Now tell me, really, who can hear the song "Linus and Lucy" without smiling? [BTW, I know the link there is slightly syntho-lame, but it's all I had.]
The genius of the show is to allow Charlie Brown to be as lost about Christmas as everyone else. His cry, "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!" is a beautifully crafted double-entendre, standing in both for the frustration of those who are lost and depressed during the holiday, and those who know what it is about but see no representations of Christmas in the culture.
Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas before heading out shopping again.