Linus's "the true meaning of Christmas" quote is Luke 2:8-14 from the King James translation of the Bible.
During his famed speech, Linus, who is well known to be dependent on his "Security Blanket", actually lets go of it when he recites these words: "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy" which is from Luke 2:10.
Broke many of the rules prevalent for animated holiday specials during the 1960s: it didn't make use of a laugh track; real children were used for the character voices instead of adult actors imitating children's voices; and Biblical references were used to illustrate the true meaning of Christmas.
Won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Children's Program", and a Peabody Award for excellence in programming.
Bill Melendez tried to talk Charles M. Schulz out of using Biblical references (especially Linus's speech) in this special. Schulz reportedly won him over by saying, "If we don't do it, who will?"