So I found a listing on eBay that offered four old issues of Children’s Digest, a magazine that reprinted and excerpted stories for kids. Included in the lot was the December 1970 issue.
Well, I glommed on to that one, because with the cover announcement of “Peanuts” Feature: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS clearly inside it was going to have a reprinting of the only adaptation that had been done by that time, the Dale Hale-illustrated one. It’d probably be edited down to fit into a few pages, but any print adaptation of A Charlie Brown Christmas that I don’t have is a print adaptation of A Charlie Brown Christmas that I need!
But it turns out, no. While it does have a couple paragraph description of the special, it’s part of promoting you to watch the special on CBS, December 5. I don’t think it’s enough to count as an adaptation, merely a summary. The real Peanuts content in there is the reprinting of four Christmas-themed daily strips from about a decade before. So I am disappointed. And some of you are probably saying “but hey, at least you got a Schulz cover”, but that was not an original piece of art for this book. I have it on a number of things, including the December 1966 issue of Catholic Boy.
But that’s not to say the purchase was not worthwhile. I did, after all, get this and three other issues of Children’s Digest, including their serialization of Tintin comics. And the seller included a note and a Jack Chick minicomic tract trying to convert me to Christianity. It didn’t work (I hear an “awwww!” coming up from some corners of my audience), but I always appreciate getting a Chick tract without myself supporting his cause. They are fascinating documents.
(And stuck into the Peanuts issue, presumably used as a bookmark in 1972, was a children’s church offering envelope with a very racist message on it. An interesting bit of sadness.)