About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Christmas TV Party 2014: Amanda M. Prok

Christmas TV Party 2014: Amanda M. Prok

1) What is the first Christmas special you remember watching?
The first Christmas special I remember watching is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  I must admit the abominable snowman caused me a sleepless night or two when I was younger.  However, my favorite character was Yukon Cornelius.  I distinctly remember his voice and was taken in immediately by him.  I always love the part(s) when he throws up his pick axe, lets it land, sniffs it and licks it and declares whether there is gold or not.  Silly thing to remember from this classic Christmas special, but as a kid I always made sure I tuned in to that part.  It was sad to read about his passing earlier this year.

2) Name one Christmas program/movie you enjoy watching all year round.
Elf!!!!  No matter what time of year, I will always sit down and watch Elf.  A sweet and simple Christmas tale that makes me laugh now just as hard as I did the first time around.  I find myself quoting the movie in my own day to day activities.  As a teacher I’ve found the best way to spread cheer (all year round) “...is singing loud for all to hear."  It drives my students nuts, but they love hearing some music come out of this tone deaf teacher.

3) Name one overlooked, or under-appreciated Christmas program.
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol is one that I don’t often see being shown at Christmas time.  It is unfortunate because it is a classic special.  I was so excited to sit down and watch it last year when it aired.  As a English/Language Arts teacher, I teach the novel A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  Aside from the brilliance of the writing the story of redemption that is portrayed in the written word is uplifting and inspiring.  Although tough to read at times the students end up loving Scrooge.  Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol is a great follow-up to the words of Dickens and quickly becomes a favorite for the students.  I wish the episode aired yearly so more could enjoy this absolutely wonderful Christmas special.   

4) Send us to 3 places on the internet.
3 places all things Christmas:

"SAAAAAANTA!  I know him."

Seth and Summer enjoying Chrismukkah on The O.C.

5) What are your 3 favorite Christmas episodes of a TV sitcom or drama?
The O.C. episode “Chrismukkah” in 2003 is one of my favorite Christmas themed episodes of any TV drama.  This holiday combo of Christmas and Hanukkah created by character Seth in an effort to understand both of his parents religious beliefs also serves as a way to help Ryan, Marissa, and Summer forget about past Christmases that left them battered and bruised.  Seinfeld  1997 “a Festivus for the rest of us.”  The single aluminum pole has not replaced our family Christmas tree, but we do "air our grievances" and "compete in feats of strength.”  Finally, Touched by an Angel in December of 2001, tackled the tough issue of September 11th in the episode “A Winter Carol.”  It is one of the first TV show episodes that I remember centering its plot around that horrific day in our country.  A mayor of a small town in New York tries to find the Christmas spirit once again.  As the mayor’s oldest son, sparked by the events of 9/11 enlists in the military, a long time town tradition is carried on, as he gets to pick the hymn sung in his honor on the last Sunday before he leaves.  The show ends with a powerful rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the town’s Christmas pageant.  All these years later it still brings me to tears. 


  1. Love how people have similar interests in some things and then other things are just special to different people. As for Elf, I love how optimistic Buddy is, always.

    1. I was going to note the same thing. So many of us chose "Rudolph" or "Charlie Brown" or one of the classics, but in other areas we're all over the map. Great picks, Amanda!

  2. I agree about 'Elf'' and it's the best "modern" Christmas movie I can think of, watched it every year since 2003.

  3. I watched "Elf" recently after a close encounter with 'Christmas in July' at a Richardson, TX gourmet ice cream shop. I forgot Zoe D is in the movie! I give the movie "Elf" a thumbs up!

  4. I want to go back and change one of my answers in my mini-questionnaire--I want to add The Festivus episode ("The Strike") on SEINFELD too!! Hahaha classic.

  5. Loved your mention of Yukon Cornelius! He is such a special character on Rudolph! Personally, I think that's why many of us also love "silver and gold" at Christmas!

  6. I agree with Nat about Yukon Cornelius. Love that you gave him a call-out, Amanda! And “Chrismukkah”--what a great and unique choice.

  7. :)