“Snoopy’s Christmas” is a song performed by The Royal Guardsmen in 1967. It continues to be played as a holiday favorite on most “oldie” radio stations, however is also often played on radio stations playing a Hit Music format as well as Adult Contemporary format stations. While these stations wouldn’t normally play music from this era radio stations will make exceptions to mix certain Christmas songs with the usual playlist during the Holiday period. Due to a chart department policy instituted by Billboard magazine, the “Snoopy’s Christmas” single never appeared in the Hot 100. It was, however, shown at #1 on a specialty list called “Best Bets For Christmas”. Cash Box magazine peaked the song at #10.
The song subsequently appeared on the album Snoopy and His Friends.
A followup to their earlier “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron,” the song is about how Snoopy had to go out and fight the Red Baron on Christmas Eve and the two enemies set aside their differences for that night (the Baron has Snoopy at his mercy after a long dogfight but doesn’t fire possibly due to his respect for Snoopy’s prowess at flying). At the end, they share a holiday toast and then Snoopy and the Red Baron fly their separate ways, “each knowing they’d meet on some other day”.
The release begins with a male chorus singing the German yuletide classic “O Tannenbaum” (O Christmas Tree”), and the middle of the song is bridged by chimes ringing out a phrase from “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” The chimes can also can be heard during the fade out at the end of the song.
Although the song is obviously fictitious, it echoes a historical event. During World War I, in 1914, “The Christmas Truce” was initiated not by German and British commanders, but by the soldiers themselves. The amount of time varied according to the area and has been reported as being anything from Christmas Day to Christmas Day through New Year’s Day. Trench-bound combatants exchanged small gifts across the lines, with Germans giving beer to the British, who sent tobacco and tinned meat to the Germans. “No Man’s Land” was cleared of dead bodies, trenches were fixed and drained, and troops from both sides shared pictures of their families and, in some places, used “No Man’s Land” for friendly games of football. The song even has the initiator correct as it was generally the German soldiers who called over to the British and initiated the truce. In the song, it is the Red Baron (a German WWI hero) who extends the hand of Christmas friendship to Snoopy.
“Snoopy’s Christmas” reached the #1 position in the New Zealand pop charts in 1967, and remains a popular Christmas song in that country.