Holiday cheer: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ stamps go on sale

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WASHINGTON, DC — It’s time for your new stamps, Charlie Brown!

The U.S. Postal Service is getting an early jump on the holiday season by issuing a series of postage stamps celebrating the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which first aired on December 9, 1965.

Booklets of the stamps, featuring 10 scenes from the beloved “Peanuts” TV special, on Thursday go on sale nationwide.

A dedication ceremony will be held at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. Among those attending will be Jean Schulz, widow of the late “Peanuts” creator, Schulz’ son, Craig Schulz, and Lee Mendelson, longtime executive producer of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

The release of the stamps coincides with “Peanuts’ ” debut in seven U.S. newspapers on October 2, 1950. By the time of Charles Schulz’s death in 2000, his comic strip was syndicated in more than 2,600 newspapers worldwide and his “Peanuts” books were published in more than 21 languages.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” was the first animated special featuring “Peanuts” characters. Because of its melancholy tone, Bible verses, unusual jazz score and lack of a laugh track, TV executives feared the program would bomb with the public. But it was an immediate critical and commercial hit, and has since become a perennial holiday favorite.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” now airs annually on ABC.

It’s a big year for Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and the gang: This holiday season also brings “The Peanuts Movie,” a computer-animated 3-D feature, which opens in theaters November 6.