Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Shows and Movies

As Thanksgiving gives way to Christmas, the networks and I am assuming cable companies are giving us a parade of Christmas specials. Now, don't get me wrong, I like technology, but it sort of takes away from what I remember as Christmas specials.

Let us review.

Before cable1, the networks would air various Christmas specials throughout the season. They would start the week after Thanksgiving, and they were played exactly one time.

Charlie Brown Christmas special, played exactly once. If you missed the airing, you would not hear Charlie Brown shout in desperation, "Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?" Or Linus call for lights and illuminate Charlie Brown on the true meaning of Christmas.

One of the best, of course, is The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. And not the Jim Carey version. I can still hear Boris Karloff say: "The Grinch hated Christmas - the whole Christmas season. Oh, please don't ask why, no one quite knows the reason. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. Or maybe his head wasn't screwed on just right. But I think that the best reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small."

One little known fact is that the actress2 that was the voice for Cindy Lou Who also was the voice for Grandmother Fa.

You know, I have lots of DVDs of favorite Christmas specials, and it sort of ruins it, in a way. It makes it less special because I can place the The Bishop's Wife DVD in the player anytime and watch Cary Grant be his suave self as the angel, putting everyone's priorities back in order. On demand movies, TV shows and the like make these productions less special. Especially during the most wonderful time of the year.

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you "Be of good cheer"
It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
It's the hap -happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It's the hap - happiest season of all 3

1Okay cable was out there but we did not have it. Still don't.
2Her name is June Foray; she was in lots of movies, TV shows and other acting stuff. Her most famous voice role was the Bullwinkle's Rocky the Squirrel.
3It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, by Eddie Pola and George Wyle.


RWA said...

The Christmas specials were different. I remember we would mark the calendar for the various shows.

I heard on the radio the other day that they have a DVD "collection" with all of the old animated specials - Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, etc. I have been tempted to buy it for my nephew, since they rarely show that stuff anymore.

I also remember TBS used to show "A Christmas Story" all day on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. My brother would sit there and watch it over and over again.

Times certainly have changed.

Ian Lidster said...

Charlie Brown's Christmas, oh yes, especially the great Vince Guaraldi music.
The Christmas Story with the BB gun
The original Christmas Carol, with Alastair Sim
The Nightmare Before Christmas
and many more.

Leesa said...

rwa: all claymation rocks. Is that spelled correctly?

ian: I love reading A Christmas Carol. It is a brilliant book. And I like all of the movie versions of the Christmas Carol.

Anonymous said...

Although not strictly a holiday movie, I remember as a child living in rural Kentucky and watching the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although our neighbors were few and far away, it felt good to know our family and most other families in America were sitting down and watching it together. Now they've already played it three times before Thanksgiving on the same channel and it was almost unwatchable due to all the popups identifying the station and what they planned to show next. I love technology, but the holiday specials were better when they were sacred showings and not filler in between ball games.

- Grant

Leesa said...

grant: I always thought Wizard of Oz fell on Thanksgiving night. Right after Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. I remember watching it on a television that had rabbit ears and no remote. Ah, the good ol' days.