About Christmas TV History

Friday, January 27, 2012

Betty White: Golden Girls Christmas (1989)

Happy Birthday Betty White!  Last week Betty White celebrated her 90th birthday and I've been inspired to write several blog posts as a tribute to her wonderful legacy on television.  I've already written about Date With the AngelsThe Mary Tyler Moore ShowLife With Elizabeth, Prep & Landing Stocking Stuffer: Operation: Secret Santa and the first Golden Girls Christmas episode from 1986.

The second Golden Girls Christmas episode arrives in the fifth season and is titled "Have Yourself A Very Little Christmas."  The girls spend their holiday at the church helping to prepare and serve meals to the needy.

However, they are surprised at the number of women and children among the homeless.  Another surprise:  Dorothy’s ex-husband Stanley Zbornak is one of the men in line for food!  Stan confides in Dorothy that his novelty toy business suffered some bad breaks this past year and his current wife has thrown him out of the house, accusing him of infidelity.  But Dorothy won't allow Stan to feel too sorry for himself, reminding him that he has the ability and resources to help himself out of his current crisis.  Dorothy points out that the other people and families at the church this day are not so lucky.

Dorothy reminds Stan that he has friends and family to help him during his time of trouble

This story has a powerful social message: many people are just a paycheck or two from severe financial troubles or becoming homeless.  The Golden Girls created many of these stories with social issues--remember the episodes where Dorothy confronts illiteracy, Rose suffers from age discrimination when looking for a job, and Blanche is sexually harrassed by her professor?  One of the points I appreciate the most from this story line is that the girls are thoughtful enough to wonder how these needy people will get help with food after the Christmas holiday.  This is a great reminder to all of us that charity and giving should be a year round activity.

Stan Zbornak is played by Herb Edelman

One of Rose's great jokes in this episode.

This 1989 Christmas episode can viewed on the fifth season DVD release on disc 2.  The show is currently airing weekdays on the Hallmark Channel and WE.  Are you a big fan of The Golden Girls?  Which of the two Christmas-themed episodes is your favorite?  Up next: The Golden Palace Christmas episode.


  1. I loved Rose so much! And that was a great episode of The Golden Girls.