It was a funny comic strip, Peanuts was, even if it relied too heavily on eccentric Snoopy for its humor.
The first of all the Peanuts TV specials, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965) was so painstakingly written by Charles Schulz that it ended up being a comic masterpiece which didn’t need any heavy reliance on Snoopy. It just needed a lot of imagination and some top-notch jokes. To Schulz it needed to be meaningful too, and with Linus quoting the Gospel of Luke (and the singing of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” at the end) it did become meaningful in a way other Christmas cartoons on TV never did.
Vince Guaraldi’s music is famous now, with its hooks and charm, and the voices—Peter Robbins as Charlie Brown, Kathy Steinberg as Sally, etc.—are unbeatable.