Charlie Brown tree

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A sad-looking Charlie Brown tree

A reference to the animated television special A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) based on the comic strip Peanuts by American cartoonist Charles M. Schulz (1922–2000), in which the title character Charlie Brown picks an unattractive Christmas tree to decorate. The selection of the tree represents a protest against the commercialization of Christmas.



Charlie Brown tree (plural Charlie Brown trees)

  1. A Christmas tree considered unattractive and undesirable by normal standards, often small and sparse.
    • 1985, Lasley F. Gober, The Christmas Lover’s Handbook, or, How to Plan the Merriest Christmas—Ever!, White Hall, Va.: Betterway Publications, →ISBN, page 137:
      There is a place in our Christmas for a Charlie Brown tree—as the Children's Tree.
    • 1998, Liz Curtis Higgs, “Humor and Marriage: Are You Married to a Funny-baked Ham?”, in Help! I’m Laughing and I Can’t Get Up: Forty Reasons Why Life is More Fun after the Big 4-0, Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Publishers, →ISBN, page 89:
      As Regina put it, "It was the ugliest, skinniest Charlie Brown tree you ever saw."
    • 2005, Kevin Cuddihy, Phillip Metcalfe, “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree: All about Christmas Trees”, in Christmas’s Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Kris Kringles, Merry Jingles, and Holiday Cheer, Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, →ISBN, page 44:
      Trees grown in the wild are naturally sparser trees with fewer branches. In the industry these are sometimes referred to as "Charlie Brown trees," after the pathetic, droopy specimen that Charlie Brown selected for the Christmas pageant in his eponymous cartoon classic.
    • 2005, Janell M. Ramos, Waiting for Odysseus, 2nd edition, Visalia, Calif.: Goddess Guild Publishing, →ISBN, page 136:
      She liked to think of it as a Charlie Brown tree, worthy of pity, not just a plain old ugly tree.
    • 2011 December, J. D. Eident, “Cedar-scented Memories (This Story Appeared in the December 2011 Edition of the ‘Good Old Days’ Magazine)”, in Once More a Mindful Gatherin’ (In Verse & Prose), [United States]: J. D. Eident, published 2012, →ISBN, page 213:
      By today's standards these "Charlie Brown" trees of my childhood were haphazardly decorated creations at best; but to my brother, sisters and I, they were some of the most beautiful creations we had ever laid eyes on.

Usage notes[edit]

The term is often used as a term of endearment.




Further reading[edit]