About Christmas TV History

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Christmas TV Party 2015: Travis Van Hauen

Christmas TV Party 2015: Travis Van Hauen

1) What Christmas program/movie have you seen more times than any other?

I watched It's a Wonderful Life and A Charlie Brown Christmas every year since I was a kid. I also have seen Nation Lampoon's Christmas Vacation & The Christmas Card several times a year. Recently my favorites are Lifetime's Love Under the Christmas Table and Hallmark's Trading Christmas.  Love all of them for different reasons.

promotional photo from 2006 TV movie The Christmas Card.

2) What is your favorite musical Christmas TV special, variety performance, or holiday song in a movie?
For my wife and I it would be "Snow" from White Christmas.
or Nat King Cole performing "The Christmas Song" on The Nat King Cole Show.
I enjoyed watching Bing Crosby and David Bowie doing "Little Drummer Boy"

3) What's your favorite TV or movie adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol?
Animated: A Flintstones Christmas Carol
2009's A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey
Mickey's Christmas Carol
When I worked grave yard shift I used to listen to a radio station that played old radio dramas or mysteries and every Christmas they would play the Jimmy Stewart Show the Six Shooter "Brett Ponset's Christmas Carol" .

Side note: Worst versions are Bah Hum Duck & Jetson's Christmas Carol

Disney's Christmas Carol

4) What do you think is the worst Christmas program/movie--or your least favorite, the most disappointing or most overrated?
A Star Wars Holiday (a VERY bad production)
Christmas Caper (Shannon Doherty)
Surviving Christmas (Ben Afleck)
Santa Claus: The Movie

5) If you were asked to give advice to a TV network executive in charge of holiday programming, what would you suggest?
Bring back some of you retro programs for a day of programming that has a Christmas theme. Have a night  (not Christmas day- one of the weekends before) showing Jeffersons, Home Improvement, Brady Bunch, Love Boat, Cheers, etc. Include some of the current shows also. I understand the cable channels playing non-stop movies but what if they changed the pace on one of the days or nights play all the programs they currently have the rights to Christmas themed episodes.

I am adding a category: Most underrated Christmas special or movie?
Garfield's Christmas Special
Casper's First Christmas
Christmas Every Day (1996-ABC Family)
On the Second Day of Christmas (Mark Ruffalo)
A Boyfriend for Christmas (Hallmark)
Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Hallmark)
A Chipmunk Christmas (Golden Harmonica)


  1. You mentioned so many Christmas Specials that are dear to my heart, too! It's a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, The Christmas Card ... and then you completely made my day by adding the extra category : "underrated Christmas special or movie" and included in that list... Christmas Every Day, On the Second Day of Christmas, A Boyfriend for Christmas, and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! So many good ones!

    I truly enjoyed your answers, Travis! It's so wonderful to know so many others who cherish Christmas!

  2. Love the Underrated category. Emmett Otter especially deserves more acclaim. Also love when people appreciate Hallmark or Lifetime holiday movies instead of just dismissing them as pap. There are gems there, as well.

  3. I like your suggestion for #5--retro programming. During the Christmas season, everyone feels nostalgic and I love the idea for more networks to embrace nostalgic programming. Thanks for participating, Travis.

  4. Retro topic reminds me that last year I purchased The Carol Burnett Show :Christmas with Carol. Its filled with various performances on the variety show. That would be great to see at Christmas.

  5. They a disk of dean martin best of Christmas variety show also.