We really should have devoted the full resources of the KQED newsroom to this from the get-go, but we didn’t. So now we have to play catch-up in a big way.

For the past month, the Contra Costa Times has been pitting holiday movies and TV shows against each other in an NCAA-like bracketed tournament. The 32 original entries, including such dubious fare as “Olive the Other Reindeer,” “A Rugrats Chanukah,” and “Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey” were, through reader voting, whittled down to a Sweet 16, an Elite Eight, a Final Four, and finally the top two, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” vs. “A Christmas Story.”

The winner? From the paper’s TV critic, Chuck Barney:

And so the battle raged on, with “Christmas Story” taking an early lead. But ultimately, “Charlie Brown’s” potent blend of sentiment, sarcasm and smooth jazz was too much to overcome.

Honestly, it was a victory we saw coming. “Charlie Brown” went into the tourney as our No. 1 seed on the animated-specials side of the bracket and was easily the top vote-getter in the first round as it walloped “A Garfield Christmas.” It then went on to throttle “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” before topping fellow holiday hall-of-famers “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Since its debut in 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has been a holiday heirloom handed down through the generations. With a low-key, yet powerful, plea against seasonal commercialism, it continues to offer comfort and joy.

To be fair, Charles M. Schulz enjoyed a definite home-court advantage. Schulz was a long-time resident of Santa Rosa, where the Charles M. Schulz Museum opened in 2000.

The full tournament bracket here.

And…get a load of this…you can watch the entire show on Hulu:

Newspaper Holiday TV Tournament: A Champ is Crowned 23 December,2010Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of EconomyBeat.org, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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