Perhaps I am being naïve. Perhaps my memory has faded. Or perhaps in 1978, I didn’t have 42,000 cable channels. As a kid, there were a handful of Christmas specials to which I looked forward. I should probably say 'holiday' specials—not because it is politically correct but because most of them had very little to do with Jesus’ birth—The Little Drummer Boy being the obvious exception. I mean, the island of misfit toys and Frosty locked in a greenhouse don’t exactly scream Silent Night.
As a child, I loved Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Rudolf and The Grinch. I could maybe squeeze in Frosty and Charlie Brown and The Year without a Santa Claus, but that was truly the extent of it. And it made no difference that the shows were five years old or 15 or40—that was what was on and that was what I watched. And I have to say I was pretty happy with my options.
Today, you will be excited to know that there are no fewer than 350 holiday specials airing between Thanksgiving and Christmas—not counting Food Network and History Channel shows. Granted, that includes quite a few re-airings. For example, you have at least five chances to see Home Alone, including one on the Spanish Language Channel, Solo en Casa! And, in the unlikely case you miss one of those, fear not, there are four, yes four, sequels to the heart-warming Chistmas tale also apparently on some sort of repeating loop.
When it comes right down to it, it’s not the selection that bothers me—choice is always good—what is driving me to the cracker factory are the puns. Who is getting paid to come up with these titles? Clearly, I am in the wrong profession. Santa Paws? Four pesky puppies save Christmas—puh-lease. Then we have the timeless A Christmas Carol. If you’ve seen all 17 versions of that you could opt for A Carol Christmas—not since Susan Lucci’s iconic interpretation of the female Ebenezer Scrooge has a version of the Dickens classic had such a refreshing take. Tori Spelling should be magical.
We have The Night Before the Night Before Christmas, aka Christmas Eve eve. There’s Once Upon a Christmas and Twice Upon a Christmas—they’d keep going, but once you get to Eight Times Upon a Christmas that’s Hanukkah. Single and not ready to mingle? Lifetime is offering the Twelve Men of Christmas and A Boyfriend for Chrismas—ABC Family has the much more cleverly titled the Twelve Dates of Christmas. Way to raise the bar.
Well the list goes on and on…and on. The good news is, I can still hunker down and watch Rudolph, The Grinch and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, because the networks are airing them too. Happy Holiday television to all, and to all a good night!