This essay is my contribution to a larger project in which several Christmas bloggers imagine an ideal line-up of Christmas Eve TV entertainment. Check out Snow Miser’s post here, and see Joanna’s post at Christmas TV History.com here.
What would you watch if you got to hijack the airwaves for Christmas Eve? That’s right, you get to run the TV station and you can air whatever Christmas movie you wanted, be it a made for TV Christmas Flick, or a huge Hollywood blockbuster or how about your favorite TV special, or Christmas episode? Would you stick to the classics?
When asked this question, I started putting some real thought into it. I decided that not only would my Christmas programming schedule include Christmas shows and movies, but I’m only going to air only Christmas commercials during my programming, as well!
My perfect Christmas Eve line up starts off in the late afternoon with the classic flick, ‘A Christmas Story‘. A fun tale set in the 1940’s about a boy named Ralphie who has to convince his parents, teachers, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect gift for him. By the way, Ralphie says ‘Red Ryder BB Gun’ 28 times.
Next up we have some animation and cartoons coming on! You just can’t have a decent Christmas eve without Burl Ives singing something, right?
You guessed it.. I’m talking about my favorite singing snowman in the 1964 Rankin/Bass Classic, ‘Rudloph the Red-Nosed Reindeer‘.
Probably the most popular of the Rankin/Bass animated Christmas TV specials ever made. It’s got several story lines going on; Rudolph’s crush, an abmoniable snowman, an un-happy elf and they all go on an adventure for the ages.
A short commercial break…
I’ve never been more excited about a modern day Christmas commercial, than the 2010 Target Christmas commercial “Electronic Santa” by Blazer Force.
(You can download the MP3 here, Courtesy of Target.com) Who didn’t boogie in their seat a little each time this upbeat electronica song bounced across the screen? But for my commercial break, you aren’t getting the 30 sec clip, you’re getting the extended version! Getting off the couch to dance is totally acceptable!
Now that you worked off a little eggnog dancing, have a seat because up next we have ‘A Flintstone Christmas‘. This 60-minute animated Christmas television special was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and first aired on NBC on Wednesday December 7, 1977.
In this Christmas special, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble have to step in and try to save Christmas for children all over the world by taking Santa Claus’s place when he sprains his ankle on Fred’s roof.
I’m going to air one of my most favorite specials of all time, the forgotten Christmas classic ‘The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas’ 1973. The story focuses on Theodore Edward Bear (Ted E. Bear for short) who is curious about Christmas and decides to go searching for it while the other bears hibernate for winter.
While the rest of the world is getting ready for Christmas, all the bears in Bearbank are getting ready to sleep… except for Ted E. Bear. Ted gets curious about Christmas so he learns the meaning from Santa Claus himself. By the way, it is streaming on Netflix!
I have to air the 1941 9 minute short – ‘Tom & Jerry’s The Night Before Christmas‘. Snow Miser recently wrote a review, you can find it here. It’s just plain old fun, with classic Tom & Jerry hijinks.
For our last animated special, I just couldn’t leave out the 1966 classic ‘Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!‘. I really couldn’t imagine a Christmas without it… I grew up watching it on CBS each year. I remember running to the tv and being glued there the whole time… and I still watch it each year!
Next up, since this is MY ideal Christmas eve line-up, I absolutely have to include one of my most loved shows on TV as a kid, the Christmas episode of The Monkees. It’s original air date is December 25, 1967. I always loved the antics of Peter, Mickey, Mike and Davy… in this episode the group has to teach a neglected boy about the magic and love of the season. The neglected boy just happens to be Butch Patrick, little Eddie Munster.
My favorite thing about this episode is the ending when the guys do an acapella rendition of the Old Latin Christmas Carol, “Ríu, Chíu,” Then, the Monkees introduce their soundstage crew as the end credits run.
To end my perfect Christmas Eve programming, it’s time to curl up with the pop corn and watch the laugh out loud funniest Christmas movie of all time, ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation‘.
This classic, is hands down my favorite Christmas movie of all time, and the perfect end to an awesome evening of Christmas on TV gluttony.