In the title screen, Charlie Brown and Linus are depicted laying dizzy on the ground after having been knocked over by a snowball from Lucy.  Considering the "New Year" title, though, it kind of looks like they've celebrated a little too much.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown

The holiday season is almost over, and we’re facing nine months of drudgery until the great holidays of autumn and winter come back around. Depressing? Yes. But one thing that can help ease the misery a little is Happy New Year, Charlie Brown.

In the title screen, Charlie Brown and Linus are depicted laying dizzy on the ground after having been knocked over by a snowball from Lucy. Considering the “New Year” title, though, it kind of looks like they’ve celebrated a little too much. That, and the threat of Charlie Brown having to kiss Peppermint Patty at midnight, are some unfortunate aspects of this special.

I’d never heard of nor seen this Peanuts special, or if I had, I’d forgotten about it. But it has a lot of the things that make A Charlie Brown Christmas so great. There is dancing from the Peanuts gang, a scene with Schroeder and his piano, Snoopy giving Lucy dog germs, and snow. There are also familiar elements from the other Peanuts specials, like Peppermint Patty, Woodstock, and the Little Red-Haired Girl (whom Charlie Brown calls “Heather”). And there’s a musical chairs number and a sub-plot about Charlie Brown trying to read through War and Peace before returning to school (which he’s obviously not going to do, since he’s only on page 5 on New Year’s Eve).

Honestly, this one is not as good as the Christmas and Great Pumpkin specials. But you can watch it for free on Netflix Instant, and if you’re clinging to every vestige of the holiday season you can (as I am), it might help a little.