Few aspects of pop culture are more symbolic of the Christmas spirit than that tiny little tree that Charlie Brown championed in 1965′s A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Though it originally seemed like little more than a dying sapling, all it took was a little love to transform it into a gorgeous piece of holiday cheer.
Charlie Brown was all about non-commercialism but he still had to buy that tree. Somebody had to buy the light and ornaments that adorned Snoopy’s doghouse that eventually ended up beautifying the tree.
How much money went into this project? Using the US Department of Labor’s Inflation Calculator we can see how much it really would have cost back in 1965.
Most likely owner of the tree farm that Charlie Brown and Linus visited would have charged full price to any tree on the lot. Just because it was the ‘60s, doesn’t mean it wasn’t any less capitalistic.
In 1965, you could buy yourself a tree for about $3-5 depending on the type. Charlie Brown never specifics what kind of tree he purchases, so let’s look at the entire range. If he bought a $3 tree in 1965, he would be paying $22.25 in 2013. But if he splurged and paid $5 then he would be paying $37 in today’s money.
Of course, you can’t have a Christmas tree without shiny, colorful lights. Buying multi-colored lights in 1965 would have cost $3.49 and in 2013 those same lights would run him $25.88. Snoopy ends up offering his lights and ornaments anyways.
Knowing what we know about Charlie Brown he would have rejects pricey and fancy ornaments out of principle, no matter how much Lucy mocked him for it. He would opt for something simple, inexpensive, and yet still beautiful.
If you’re anything like Charlie Brown, and want to spend as little on your Christmas decor as possible while still retaining the beauty and spirit of the holidays, here are a few helpful tips. Consider using your own tree, buy decorations right after Christmas or make your own ornaments.
Whether it’s Charlie Brown in 1965 or all of us in 2013, there’s no need to speed hundreds of dollars to make your Christmas beautiful. The more things you do on your own and with your family, the more love you will put into everything. Then you will be that much closer to the true spirit of the holiday.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!