Linus van Pelt is a regular character from the Peanuts comic strip and cartoon series. As such, he appears in all five of the Peanuts Christmas television productions. He is the middle child in the van Pelt family, between his older sister Lucy and his younger brother Rerun, and he is also Charlie Brown's best friend. Though young and always carrying his blue blanket, Linus is unusually smart, and he acts as the strip's philosopher and theologian, often quoting the Gospels. He is also a believer in the "Great Pumpkin", a presumably imaginary Santa Claus-like being who, according to Linus, flies around the most sincere pumpkin patch and delivers toys to all the good little children.
Appearances in Christmas specials
- A Charlie Brown Christmas - At the beginning of the first Peanuts Christmas special, Charlie Brown talks to Linus about how depressed he is that Christmas is being ruined by commercialization; Linus responds by saying that Charlie Brown's the only person he knows who could actually be depressed at this time of the year. While Lucy is handing out the costumes and scripts for the school's Christmas pageant, she orders Linus (who is to play the role of a shepherd) to get rid of his blanket, but he opts to wear the blanket as part of his costume in the pageant. Later, when Charlie Brown decides he needs to go get a Christmas tree in order to give the group the proper mood, Linus accompanies him to the Christmas tree lot. After everyone laughs at the sad-looking little tree that they picked out and a frustrated Charlie Brown asks if anyone really knows what Christmas is really about, Linus quotes the second chapter of the Gospel according to Luke, verses 8 through 14 from the King James Version. This inspires Charlie Brown to take the tree home, decorate it, and show the gang it will work in the play. After Charlie Brown finds and places a single one of Snoopy's ornaments on the tree, which causes it to bend over, Linus remarks that he never thought it was a bad tree and that it just needs a little love, after which the other kids decorate the tree for Charlie Brown using the rest of Snoopy's decorations.
- "The Play"
- It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown
- Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales - In this 2002 special, Linus stars in the second segment, "Yuletide Greetings from Linus". He tries to write a letter to Santa Claus, saying that he does not really want any presents and would be fine if Santa skipped him this year, but Lucy crumples up the paper, so Linus starts writing another letter, this time suggesting that Santa send him his catalog because he does not know what he does want for Christmas. He also tries to send a Christmas card to the new girl in his class, but to his frustration, he has trouble addressing the card because she keeps changing her name. Further aggravating him, his card ends up being returned because the address that the girl provided to him was not real.
- I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
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