A Charlie Brown Christmas: See the Original Comic Strip Charles Schulz Drew for the TV Classic (PHOTO)

Aubry D'Arminio
Charles Schulz

Peanuts on Television by Schulz

ABC is playing a star-studded 50th Anniversary salute to A Charlie Brown's Christmas (the first Peanuts special to air on TV). And it will be full of factoids, reminiscences and reveals  from the America's most iconic comic strip adaptation (suck on that thumb, X-Men)—followed by an airing of a digitally remastered version of the real thing.

But here's another treat for you: Fifty years ago, artist Charlie Shulz drew an exclusive comic for TV Guide Magazine to preview the special (which first aired December 9, 1965 on CBS) and Charlie's hunt for the real meaning of Christmas. You can almost hear the special's classic original tune, "Christmas Time is Here," playing in the background.

As his missions of fans long since have discovered, under that inept, ineffectual, bumbling exterior of Charlie Brown's there beats a heart as soft and sweet as a marshmallow. In the sequence on these pages, drawn exclusively for TV Guide by Charlie's creator, Charles Schulz, he becomes concerned bout the true meaning of Christmas, finally comes up with what he believes is the answer. And despite the skepticism of his friend(?) Lucy, he has faith in it—so much so that he has made it the theme of his first special, Charlie Brown's Christmas, scheduled for CBS on Dec. 9.

Check out the strip below and click on it to read the full-size version.

Charlie Brown - Peanuts on Television by Schulz

Peanuts on Television by Schulz