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How Charlie Brown Destroyed Aluminum Christmas Trees

Aluminum Christmas trees were all the rage in the late 1950s and early '60s. They were easy to set up and store, would last for years, and gave a modern, space-age feel to your Christmas decor. And they were lit by psychedelic rotating projection lights. Cool! And then, suddenly, the fad was over in 1965.

Aluminum Christmas trees were at peak sales from 1958 until the airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas. As you might recall, during the Christmas special Charlie Brown heads out to buy a Christmas tree. Lucy ordered him to buy an aluminum Christmas tree.

When Charlie Brown and Linus arrived at the tree lot, there were plenty of fancy aluminum trees for sale, but the only tree that catches his eye is a little sapling. It was also the only real tree on the lot. When he arrives back to the set of the play the girls started mocking him for choosing the ugly little tree. In a fit of frustration, he loudly asks if “anybody knows what Christmas is about?” Linus said that he did and then started quoting the Annunciation to the Shepherds from the Bible.

The millions of households watching that night received a lesson in the commercialization of Christmas, and realized their aluminum trees were a symptom of it. Read about the effect of A Charlie Brown Christmas on the aluminum tree industry at Medium.  -via Digg  


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