About Christmas TV History

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Daniel Budnik

from the 1947 movie The Bishop's Wife.
Christmas in July 2016: Daniel Budnik of Some Polish American Guy Reviews Things website and Eventually Supertrain podcast.

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

I try to start the season with either The Bishop’s Wife or Black Christmas (the original). I love the atmosphere of both of those films. By the end of The Bishop’s Wife, I’m glad to be alive at Christmastime. By the end of Black Christmas, I’m simply glad to be alive. Usually the one I watch first depends upon whether or not I’m watching them with my wife or alone. She’ll join me for Cary Grant but will usually pass on the movie with all the murdering and such.

from the 1974 Christmas episode of Happy Days.

2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

I can always tell how sentimental a Christmas I’m going to have by how much I weep at three things:
1) The Happy Days episode “Guess Who’s Coming To Christmas”
2) Episode 4 of the Doctor Who audio The Chimes of Midnight
3) The opening of It’s A Wonderful Life when everyone is praying for George. (If I’m totally a mess before the stars start talking and we’re not even, like, 5 minutes into the film, it’s going to be a weepy Christmas.)

from 1988's Christmas episode of The Wonder Years.

3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

“For me, that year Christmas stopped being about tinsel and wrapping paper, and started being about memory. At first I was disappointed. Until I learned that memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you wish to never lose. And I learned from Winnie, that in a world that changed too fast, the best we can do is wish each other Merry Christmas and good luck.” – The Wonder Years “Christmas”

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

I’ve been scouring my brain trying to come up with an answer for this one. I don’t have a specific program. However, there is something that, when it occurs in shows or movies, can make me stop paying attention…  that’s when the Christmas special doesn’t have any visible signs of winter in it. No snow, no cold, no Dan. Although, that’s not completely true. I have to make myself ignore the lack of what I consider to be such a big part of the holiday and enjoy the special for what it is.

5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

Alice from A Very Brady Christmas. Alice loves the Bradys. Alice loves Christmas. (We will not discuss Sleazy Sam from this movie.) And, she, like me, spends much of the holiday cleaning, cooking and making sure that everyone she’s with is having a good time…  and she’s not getting paid to work for the Bradys that year! I imagine, also, that when all the work is done Alice rests and relaxes really well. I do the same, Alice. Just make sure your sister doesn’t show up. She’s too much for me.


  1. Ha! That's great. We (moms and dads) are all Alice. :)

  2. Great answers - and I admit that I could hear Daniel Stern's voice reading the words from "The Wonder Years." Such a great series...

    Yes, Alice does it right!

  3. The narrator commenting on Kevin Arnold's Christmas reminds me of Jean Shepherd commenting on Ralphie Parker's holiday in A CHRISTMAS STORY. I love them both. Thanks for participating, Daniel.