About Christmas TV History

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Jeff Fox

from Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas
Christmas in July 2016: Jeff Fox of NameThatChristmasSpecial.com

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

Christmas season around here usually starts with the stringing of popcorn, and that starts mid November to make sure everything is decorated and in place for an early December Christmas party. Many classics get played while stringing popcorn and can’t help but put me in the holiday spirit: Christmas Vacation, John Denver Montana Christmas Skies, Muppet Family Christmas, Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, to name just a few. Planes, Trains and Automobiles gets put in there occasionally, and while not a Christmas film, it might as well be. The sentiment is Christmas even if the calendar disagrees.

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

So many great Christmas tearjerkers: The Christmas Wish with Debbie Reynolds and Neil Patrick Harris, Finding John Christmas with Peter Falk, The Gathering, J.T., Lovely, Still, which is just devastating, The Muppet Christmas Carol when Michael Caine sings "When Love is Gone," Sunshine Christmas… No doubt I’m missing plenty, but these spring to mind immediately.

Richard Mulligan in 1985's "Night of the Meek" on The New Twilight Zone.

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

Great question. I’m sure I’m forgetting plenty but I do always remember an exchange from the remake of The Twilight Zone’s "Night of the Meek", where the store owner, having received his gifts turns to Corwin and says “Corwin, what about you? You want nothing for yourself?” and he replies "This night was my gift".

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

I genuinely hate Christmas with a Capital C and movies like it that make it clear there’s only one acceptable way to celebrate Christmas in their eyes. What’s supposed to be a positive family film angers me.

Frightens? Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure. It frightens me that anyone could have misunderstood the appeal of the original so badly.

from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

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

Never thought of this before. I can relate to Clark Griswold trying to make everything perfect but not having it work out as he intends. Never had a SWAT team show up though, so I guess I’m not doing that bad.

I can relate to the fictionalized Thomas Kinkade in Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage, though I cringe a bit saying that since I’m not a fan of him in general, but I enjoyed the movie and the relationships. I just like to pretend it’s someone else...

And Charlie Brown himself of course, because not everyone these days gets it ;)


  1. I enjoyed the way you described that Twilight Zone episode, Jeff. Even though I have never seen that show, I could sense the power of those words with the way you described it and the image used there. It looks very touching.

    Sorry to hear you don't like 'Christmas with a Capital C'. It always makes me think of Charlie Brown shouting "Does anyone know what Christmas is all about?"

    Also, it's so sweet you aspire to be like Clark Griswold to create the perfect Christmas! :)

    Blessings!!! Net

  2. Thanks Net, no offence to people who do like Christmas with a Capital C, but it definitely turned me off. And you should check out the Twilight Zone episode. I think it's really underrated :)

  3. I think viewers are more familiar with the 1960 Christmas episode of the Twilight Zone--but many still don't know that the story was adapted again in the 1980s re-boot of the series. Both are worth seeing. Thanks for the reminder--and thanks for participating Jeff :D