Christmas Postathon Day 5

A Holiday Movie or TV Special You Look Forward to Seeing

“Gather round, children,” I call. “Let me tell you about what Christmas was like back in the olden days.” They come running, eyes wide with anticipation.

“Sit down. Sit down.” I say and I begin my tale.

“When I was a little girl, back in the 1970s thing were very different. For one thing Christmas specials were only shown on TV once each holiday season!”

They ‘GASP’ collectively.

“What about DVD or Blue Ray? Couldn’t you just buy them?”one cries.

“How about online streaming or that TV channel that shows the specials 24 hours a day from Thanksgiving on?” Another asks. I just smile and shake my head.

“Computers and DVD players hadn’t been invented yet and we only had 6 television channels, none of which showed all day Christmas specials. Heck, most of them went off air everynight at 12:00!” I can see they are stunned into silence so I continue.

“What  we did have was something called a ‘TV Guide’, a little book that listed all the shows that would be on that week. I would check the listing for shows that would be on between 7pm and 9pm, what they called ‘prime time’ and when I found my favorite Christmas special I circled it in red pen so we wouldn’t forget about it.”

“What were your favorite shows?” One of the little cherubs asks.

“Well, I had two that I really liked. The first was A Charlie Brown Christmas, the same one that’s still on now-a-days and the other was How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but the old animated version narrated by Boris Karloff, not that silly one with Jim Carey that you all watch.

Now, my sisters were ten years older than me, and if you asked them what their favorite Christmas special was they would probably tell you about one that was sponsored by the ‘Bell Telephone Company’ and was shown on the Public Broadcasting Station each year.

“Who is ‘Bell Telephone?” they shout, confused.

“Never mind,” I reply, “That’s a story for another time.

The TV special was a rendition of the poem The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore and The Christmas Story from the Bible told entirely with marionettes. you know, those puppets that move on strings? I found a video of it on YouTube last year and showed it to my daughter. She said it was creepy and was surprised that my sisters didn’t have nightmares after watching it so I guess marionettes aren’t for everybody.

Anyway, on the nights that Charlie Brown and The Grinch were scheduled to air I would make sure I was done my bath early and was ready in my pjs in front of the TV in time for the show to start. I knew that if I forgot, or we were out that night, I wouldn’t get another chance to see them for a whole year.” The children stare at me doubtful, wondering if I am putting them on.

“What about your  favorite movie? asks the oldest. “We know you love A Christmas Story. Every year you laugh like crazy at Ralphie in his fuzzy pink bunny suit. Did they show that all day long on Christmas Day like they do now?”

“I do love that crazy father and his leg lamp!” I chuckle, “but that film wasn’t made till 1984. when I was little my favorite movie was one I still enjoy today. It was an old black and white film called Its a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. You may have seen it once or twice.”

“Everytime a bell rings an angel get his wings!!” they shout knowingly.

“That’s right!” I smile. “My mom and dad loved that one too so we would all snuggle up, turn out the lights and watch it together. By the end when George Bailey runs through Bedford Falls wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, I was happy and all filled up with the Christmas spirit.”

I sigh and gaze over there heads lost in childhood.

“Hey, guys!” the oldest one yells, “Let’s go download all three Santa Clause movies on to the flat screen TV and binge watch till dinner!” They jump up in unison and race off ready to make their own Christmas memories.


16 thoughts on “Christmas Postathon Day 5

  1. Okay, first of all, I have no clue what special with marionettes you are talking about. haha However, there was a certain magic about our Christmas shows that we could only see once a year. Made them all the more special and valued. My absolute favorite was Rudolph. Still is. I bit of a Rudolph freak. Just ask my kids. 😉 However, now that I have it on DVD, and have had it on DVD for quite some time, I don’t watch it very often. I guess the availability to it somehow took away some of the shine. I remember one year when I was little Rudolph was cancelled on whatever night it was to air. I can’t remember if it was due to a sports games, or political stuff or what. All I remember was it was cancelled, and the network actually chose to air it on a different day and time, advertising it in advance so we would know about it! So, I didn’t miss it after all!
    I was 20 years old before I ever saw Miracle on 34th Street. I had always heard of it but somehow never saw it. The original with Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood. I have loved that movie ever since. Love, love, love It’s A Wonderful LIfe! More modern favorites? of course, Christmas Vacation, but also The Holiday, and While You Were Sleeping. I’m a sucker for a good Christmas movie. They just don’t seem to make them like they used to, though.

    • I forgot “While you Were Sleeping” is a Christmas movie- I love that film! Sandra Bullock is great in it. The weird show with the marionettes was on PBS again the other day! You will have to try and catch it😉 It’s funny that you still remember them canceling Rudolph when you were little. That kind of thing really messes with you Christmas spirit when you’re a kid!

  2. Gah, I love them all. Rudolph and the original Grinch, Charlie Brown, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story — but then some adult ones, too, like Love Actually, The Holiday, The Family Stone. I love them all.
    Loved the reference to Ma Bell, too 😉

  3. There’s just something about the anticipation of waiting for your show to come on (we used highlighters instead of red pens)! These kids just don’t know what they’re missing. 🙂

  4. I love all the Christmas shows you mentioned here, but I also love “Christmas Vacation.” A little embarrassed to admit that, but it’s true!

    • Oh, me too! I still laugh at the Aunt who wraps up her cat and don’t we all have a “cousin Eddie” somewhere in our family tree?! That movie is a classic!

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