Monday, December 19

Andy, Matt, Hawkeye, and Santa Claus...Heroes All

My winner for last week’s prize is Joanne Guidoccio. Thanks for entering, Joanne!

Winding down toward Christmas. It’s snowy here, which makes it easy to anticipate the holiday and relish memories. Some of my favorite Christmas memories have taken place in front of a television set, an oddity for someone like me, who thinks a TV screen’s main purpose is to collect dust.

We didn’t go to movies when I was a kid. Partly because we lived way out in the country and society wasn’t as mobile as it is now. “Town” was one day a week then, to get groceries. I live five miles from where I grew up, but I go to town most every day for one thing or another.

Oops, digressing, but yes, we didn’t go to movies, so my first time for seeing old standards was when they came to television. I remember icy weekends watching Shirley Temple movies and becoming acquainted with Bing Crosby’s Father O’Malley from Bells of St. Mary’s and Going My Way. TV is where I first saw Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, The Bishop’s Wife, Holiday Inn, It’s A Wonderful Life, and…I’m digressing again. I didn’t even make it a whole paragraph!

What I am writing about—really!—is Christmas episodes of TV shows. Do you have favorites? I certainly do.

I love watching the cast of The Andy Griffith Show spending the day at the Mayberry courthouse because of the community Scrooge. Another favorite is the Gunsmoke episode with Jeanette Nolan, Jack Elam, and a very young Erin Moran guest-starring in a story about orphans. Then there was the episode of M*A*S*H* where the doctors on the show falsified the time of a soldier’s death so that his kids wouldn’t have to remember that their daddy died on Christmas. Even writing about those episodes makes my eyes tear up a little and revives some heartache that usually stays buried.

The nice thing about Christmas episodes is that, other than a few like the ones listed above, I don’t remember them. This means several things. (1) I enjoy seeing them again. (2) They leave little warm places that can’t necessarily be defined because I don’t know what caused those particular sweet spots. And (3) I enjoy seeing them again. I said this twice because I will watch them no matter how many times they’re televised.

So, what’s your favorite? Got another giveaway going on, so leave a comment!



Oh, and a bonus question. (The other Wranglers are going to get ticked at me for taking the good questions, but that’s what happens when you’re the Monday girl. J) Who’s your favorite movie or TV Santa? Mine is Edmund Gwenn from the original Miracle on 34th Street.

19 comments:

  1. Hey, quit asking all the good questions! ;-) Great post--I don't have a lot of TV memories from my childhood because we didn't have a TV until I was a teenager, but I do have a couple of holiday faves that I'll share tomorrow. Oh, and unquestionably, my favorite Santa is Richard Attenborough from the same movie, but the updated version of Miracle. He was so adorable.

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    1. Yeah, I was 11 when we got our first TV--I do think it makes a difference in the life experience!

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  2. I love Father O'Malley! The Bells of St Maryowas one of our yearly Christmas traditions! I don't really have a favorite tv Santa... I like them all!

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    1. Oops, darn fat fingers. I meant "Mary's "

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    2. I had a long siege of wanting to be a Catholic because of Father O'Malley. Duane says not all priests and nuns are exactly like Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman...such a disappointment.

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  3. I always liked the episode of Happy Days where Fonzie doesn't have a Christmas and won't intrude on the Cunningham's Christmas plans...so they trick him into coming over to fix something. Ahhhhh... I mean, eyyyyyy!

    As for my favorite movie-Santa...probably Edmund G, too.

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    1. Oh, I remember that one! I haven't seen it in years, but I love it, too.

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  4. Edmund Gwenn is my favorite as well. I just watched A Christmas Spirit last night and it may be my new favorite!

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    1. I'm not sure I've seen that! Thanks for coming by.

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  5. There are too many Santas to choose from! Santa from 'Rudolph'...Kris Kringle from 'Santa Claus is Coming To Town'...Tim Allen's Santa from 'The Santa Claus'....and yes, Edmund Gwenn from Miracle:) As for holiday episodes, I also remember that Happy Days one:)

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    1. All good ones, Molly. We just watched Santa Claus is Coming to Town last night--it hasn't lost a thing over the years!

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    2. I'm a big M*A*S*H fan so I remember that Christmas episode, too. It was very touching. That one sticks in my mind though I know I must have seen hundreds of Christmas specials of other TV shows over the years.

      It's hard to pin down my favorite Santa, but you can't not like Edmund Gwenn. He just looks like how Santa is supposed to look!

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    3. He does, doesn't he? Plus he was human enough to get bubble gum in his beard. :-)

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  6. I love everything M*A*S*H. I also loved Scrubs. The doctors delivered a baby on Christmas Eve in a park. But the best is Star in the Sky, an Academy award-winning short set in the fifties. It's on youtube. Happy holidays!

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    1. I've never heard of that, Vicki. Thanks for the heads-up. I never really warmed up to Scrubs, but the truth is I don't like much new TV at all. My curmudgeon genes are showing up. :-) Thanks for coming by!

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  7. Edmund Gwenn was my favorite as well. I really enjoy that movie.

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  8. Kris Kringle from Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Edmund Gwenn is classic--capitol C, and I think I have to echo Molly, Tim Allen in the Santa Clause.

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    1. Love Kris Kringle. We were talking the other night when we watched it about how great that Mickey Rooney's and Fred Astaire's voices are still with us-especially in such heartwarming parts.

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