For the first time in over fifty Halloweens, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” will not be shown on network television. I feel like my childhood has officially ended.

Okay – to be fair – my childhood ended a long, LONG time ago but the Charlie Brown holiday specials have always been a staple in my life. Particularly the Halloween special. Ever since I dressed up as a witch at age five and scared myself so badly just looking at my unrecognizable reflection in the mirror (refusing to ever go trick-or-treating again) I have known that scary stuff just wasn’t for me. Not haunted houses, not scary costumes and not scary movies.

So you see … Charlie Brown is my jam.

It was even my children’s jam.

Okay, maybe not so much my children’s jam as they were never big fans of Charlie Brown like I was. But nothing says family tradition like forcing your children to sit through thirty minutes of the great pumpkin while their fingers addictively twitch from not being able to play video games or check texts on their phones, and while they simultaneously spit out descriptive adjectives like lame and boring and stupid.

“How can you watch this? The graphics are horrible,” they’d bemoan in stereo.

Ahhh … family traditions. Those were the good ole days.

I just read this week that Apple TV+ has acquired the rights to not only the Halloween special but the Thanksgiving and Christmas ones too. And while my family could indeed stream the specials on our iPhones and iPads during our growing disparate and scattered iLives, we won’t. It’s just not the same.

It’s just not the same as the nation sitting down together in front of their TVs, cross-legged with a bowlful of popcorn, and collectively experiencing that football being snatched away once again and being treated with a bag full of rocks.

Some traditions just shouldn’t be messed with.

Say it ain’t so, Charlie Brown. Say it ain’t so.