Now that it's November and Election Day is behind us, it's time to start thinking of Thanksgiving. It's time for cooler weather, roasted turkeys, family and friends coming together, and one of my favorite happenings of the year, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Since I was a kid, I've been in love with this yearly tradition. I wake up just a bit earlier, get the turkey in the oven, and hunker down to watch the marching bands and balloons. It's those balloons that I'm using for inspiration for this month's theme. For the month of November, I will be featuring characters who have had their image immortalized in our collective memory as giant balloons floating down the New York skyline. To start off the month, I would like to present you with a very special dog, Snoopy.
Whether he is the faithful sidekick to Charlie Brown, the fearless fighter pilot waging war against the Red Baron, or the sloppy kisser that Lucy fears, Snoopy is one of those characters that just seems to have been ingrained in our pop culture. I don't think there is anyone in this country who would not recognize that iconic image of a white beagle wearing a huge grin.
I can't remember the first time I was introduced to Snoopy, he seems to have always been in my life. My mom was a huge fan of Woodstock, the little yellow bird who acted as Snoopy's wingman, pun intended. Because of her love of Woodstock, Snoopy was there all the time in our house. When It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown came on every Halloween, we watched it. I got to watch Snoopy take the sky in his Sopwith Camel (doghouse), and fight the Red Baron over occupied France.
Every Thanksgiving we would watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Charlie Brown, with the help of his friends, including Snoopy, tried to throw a Thanksgiving day feast. Snoopy and Woodstock set up the table, his fight with the lawn chair is hilarious. For whatever reason Snoopy was also the chef, serving up buttered toast, popcorn, pretzel sticks, jellybeans, and a jello sundae for desert. Needless to say, Snoopy's hard work is not appreciated by most of the guests who were expecting turkey and all the trimmings. As a kid, I thought Snoopy's dinner wouldn't have been so bad.
Then for Christmas, we got to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, my personal favorite of the Charlie Brown specials. We get to see Snoopy go over the top and decorating his doghouse, all to win $50, something Charlie Brown just doesn't understand. We are also treated to his spectacular skating skills as he skates loops around the kids. It's in this special that Snoopy really cemented himself in my heart as a character that would stay with me forever. It's just not Christmas without him.
Now as an adult, I actually own the box set that includes all three specials, along with three others themed together. My favorite image out of those three specials is Snoopy as a pilgrim settler in It's America Charlie Brown, The Mayflower Voyagers. Snoopy and the gang have become a part of our holiday traditions. He is so central to our celebrations that it's unimaginable to not have these shows playing in the DVD player. It's just as horrific to think of the Macy's Parade without Snoopy's balloon floating above the heads of the spectators.