- Holidays and Celebrations
The Best TV Specials At Christmastime
Christmas On TV
As a child, I found that our family was always occupied in front of the television in the evening. I grew up in the 1960's and 1970's, so it was the most entertaining thing to do. During the Christmas season, I enjoyed watching the specials and the movies that were broadcast for the holiday celebration. Nowadays, there are droves of choices to make for television watching, thanks to cable and satellite television. But back then when there were only three of four channels to choose from. I enjoy the programs that were shown in my youth. The original programs that we watched were the best. I have chosen the best five Christmas programs which they still broadcast year after year.
RUDOLPH, THE RED NOSE REINDEER
Produced in 1964 by Arthur Rankin was the classic musical story about the most remarkable reindeer with a shiny red nose that helped Santa Claus fly across the world to deliver toys and presents to all the children. He did this by leading the team of flying reindeer which pulled Santa's sleigh in the sky. It is a fun loving story that all children enjoy hearing. I still enjoy watching it, probably because I enjoy reminiscing the things of my youth. The music is incredible, the characters are personified as real people. I have an appreciation for the themes of hope, encouragement, self esteem, boldness, courage, and love in this animated musical. Children can learn a great deal from this program, as well as learn to celebrate the joy of the season.
CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
Originally written by Charles M. Shulz, this Christmas special was produced by Bill Melendez in 1964. Charlie Brown is an animated character originally presented in cartoon strip images with his family of other animated friends, such as Linus, Lucy, Sally, Peppermint Patty, "Pigpen", Schroeder, and his famous puppy dog, Snoopy along with his sidekick, Woodstock, a little yellow bird. Charlie Brown came into life on television, and this Christmas special became very popular, and is still broadcast today. In this story, Charlie Brown's pursuit of finding the perfect Christmas tree is supported by the true meaning of Christmas. He is always feeling defeated, but in the end, his youngest friend, Linus, proves to him you don't need the ambience of a tree to celebrate the real meaning of the season celebration. This Christmas show became my very favorite at a very young age, and I wanted to learn more about the birth of Christ after seeing this. I am very pleased to see that children still get to see this special every year.
THE GRINCH WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS
Written by Dr. Suess, in 1966, Chuck Jones and Ben Washam animated this classic story for television. The combined wonderful talents of song writing between Theodore Geisel (Dr. Suess) and Albert Hague as sung by Thurl Ravenscroft along with the narration of the original story done by Boris Karloff made this a very charming program. It is definitely one of the best for the season. The theme of hope and joy and love of the holiday season is resounded in this story. The purpose of this story is also to show that a person's true heart can change through the innocence of the little child. I love this personal message.
MIRACLE ON 34th STREET
This full length movie originally broadcast in 1947. It has been rebroadcast yearly. This movie is charming and beautiful. Starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, and John Payne, this story is about the approval of a man who claims to be Santa Claus. As an attorney works to prove this man's identity as real, a little girl learns to accept the truth about the Seasonal Holiday, though it means that she would have to gain some trust in her elders. A transformation occurs in the end as this little girl learns the true meaning of unselfish giving no matter how old a person is.
CHARLES DICKENS' THE CHRISTMAS CAROL
I saw this original black and white movie, originally produced in 1938, on my very first little television set that I was given on Christmas in 1970. I was fascinated by the age of the film, but this story held my attention. The story was originally written by Charles Dickens in 1843. The theme of this movie was a change of heart. The main character, Ebeneezer Scrooge, went from a cold and heartless man to become a man seeking to change his heart because of a child's demonstration of love. This character had to go through his past, his present and had to be shown the future by spiritual beings in order to change of his heart.
CHRISTMAS THEMES THAT LAST ALL YEAR
Hope, peace, love and making transitions are ways to exercise charitable acts or deeds. Christmas time should only be a springboard of new beginnings, and a chance to reach out to others. The demonstration of Christmas should come from the heart. When there is no money to buy a gift, no paper to wrap a present, and no ability to decorate or splash the environment with ornaments, one can find that Christmas is the time to bond to the origination of our life's way, which is FAMILY. And for those who don't have family, to reach out to those who have been most influential in life is a way to keep the Christmas theme all year. The Best Christmas Theme that should last all year is the Birth of Hope. The television programs at Christmas are very creative way of demonstrating this theme.