About Christmas TV History

Monday, July 29, 2013

Animation Celebration: Yogi's First Christmas

Welcome back to Christmas in July: Animation Celebration!  July is the special time of the year that I turn the blog over to my readers.  All month long I'm posting essays written by people eager to share their passion and memories for animated Christmas entertainments.  Just a few more days left in the month--thanks for your continued interest.

Today's essay is about the animated favorite Yogi's First Christmas.  Did you grow up watching Hanna-Barbera's animated Christmas stories too?  This essay comes to us from Drew Flowers, the co-moderator for the Yahoo Group ChristmasMoviesandMusic and blogger at the website Tis the Seasons.  He also wrote the essay on A Garfield Christmas Special from last week. Let's welcome him again.

Yogi’s First Christmas is a 1980 holiday themed television feature- length film that first aired on November 21, 1980. In this Hanna-Barbera Christmas special, the picnic-basket stealing Yogi Bear and his little friend Boo-Boo are supposed to be getting ready to hibernate for the winter but instead decide to experience their first Christmas season.

Yogi’s Christmas special never received a lot of air time on any major networks except on USA, however it is a charming holiday tale for any Christmas lover or Hanna-Barbera fan. Yogi spends his winter working different jobs at the Jellystone Park lodge ranging from a bellboy, a ski instructor and head of security--all of which provide enjoyable moments with Yogi and several classic Hanna-Barbera characters such as Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddie, Cindy Bear, and Herman the Hermit.

When a bratty kid visiting the lodge with his aunt teams up with Herman the Hermit to ruin the holiday fun for Yogi & crew, they realize that having Christmas spirit is not such a bad thing and are forgiven and invited to the Christmas celebration at the lodge. At the story’s end, a visit from Santa occurs at the Christmas party in which Santa brings Yogi a picnic basket full of food. Yogi, however, falls asleep, due to his natural instincts of hibernation. With that, the holiday revelers return Yogi & Boo Boo to their caves for the rest of their hibernation.

When watching Yogi’s First Christmas, it really brings back memories of what cartoons were like back in the 1980’s. The graphics are nothing like today’s cartoons, but every time I watch it, it’s like being 6 years old and eagerly awaiting Santa all over again.  There is something unique about how simple this animated special is but yet provides a touching feel with some great songs and unique story to really make you feel the Christmas spirit the way it should be felt. This past Christmas my oldest son ( 5 years old) watched this more than any other holiday special. He also enjoyed the unique humor and ageless child-like feel this special provides. Yogi’s First Christmas has been on the Boomerang channel recently and even had a Christmas morning airing as well.


  1. Great job Andrew, how nice to be able to share your childhood favorites with your kids now! Hanna-Barbera has made quite a few holiday specials, some better than others. This is among my favorite, including all the ones with the Flintstones, Jetson's Christmas Carol, and Casper's First Christmas. Similar to the Casper special, it's fun to see so many characters together in one special!

  2. Great write up Andrew. This is one of my favorites that I do like to watch almost every year.


  3. Like Jakki commented, I love to see the whole cast of favorite Hanna-Barbera characters in this. Since I grew up watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons, this has a real nostalgic feel for me. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love that the whole Hanna-Barbera gang is in this special. We have watched it quite a few times, and one of my favorite childhood memories is watching this when my parents were out and my grandmother was watching us.