No one ever thought it would be memorable, but they were wrong.
"What the roomful of executives saw upon the first screening was a shock—a slow and quiet semireligious, jazz-filled 25 minutes, voiced by a cast of inexperienced children, and, perhaps most unforgivably, without a laugh track. “They said, ‘We’ll play it once and that will be all. Good try,’ “ remembers Mendelson. “Bill and I thought we had ruined Charlie Brown forever when it was done. We kind of agreed with the network. One of the animators stood up in the back of the room—he had had a couple of drinks—and he said, ‘It’s going to run for a hundred years,’ and then fell down. We all thought he was crazy, but he was more right than we were.”
Read more about how "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was made, including how the kids were coached into phonetically sounding out their dialog.
Making jabs at commercialism, panic during the holidays, and much more, it also has the best soundtrack I've ever heard for a TV Christmas show. This following is just a wee snippet of the show, but it has The Dance.