I am old enough to remember when this was first broadcast, Coca Cola commercials and all. Since then, there has not been a year gone by when it hasn't been a part of my Christmas celebration. The producers took a major gamble making this, not only with having Linus taking two minutes to tell the Christmas story straight out of the Bible, but in wondering if the beloved Peanuts characters could successfully make the transition from the comic pages to the TV screen. One of the ways they stayed true to the characters was to have actual children voice the characters instead of using adults trying to mimic the kids voices. (In some cases, the dialogue had to be recorded a few short phrases at a time and then edited together!)
Happily, it worked, and it opened the door to a whole series of prime-time Peanuts specials. But for my money, none of them worked as well as the first. It has become a perennial and almost universal Christmas classic, which still holds up as well as it did when I first saw it when I was ten years old.