About Christmas TV History

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Linda M. Young

All Creatures Great and Small
Christmas in July 2016: Linda M. Young of Flying Dreams

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

My husband and I always start out the season with "Merry Gentlemen" from All Creatures Great and Small and "Silly, But It's Fun" from The Good Life (aka Good Neighbors). I love the old-fashioned British Christmas preparations from "Merry Gentlemen" and the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and the old house, and I'm always sad when the story ends. "Silly, But It's Fun..." is just funny, with Tom and Barbara planning a homemade Christmas while Margo goes overboard as always and then abruptly has her Christmas "canceled" when it isn't delivered. We then watch them both as the last two Christmas stories of the season as well.

Lassie and Timmy

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

There are so many sweet small moments in many stories, but the one that springs to mind is when Lassie recovers at the end of the 1958 episode "A Christmas Story." This was the first Lassie Christmas episode ever, and she has been struck by a car after pushing a little girl out of the way of a moving truck. The family veterinarian doesn't think he's skilled enough to do the surgery; he knows only one doctor that is, and they finally reach him through a radio bulletin. At the end of the episode, as friends carol outside the Martin house, Lassie regains consciousness and licks Timmy's hand right in the middle of a beautiful rendition of "Silent Night." Gets me every time. :-)

Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis.

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

"Faith is believing in things that common sense tells you not to," from Miracle on 34th Street. And the line from the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas": "Through the years we all will be together, if the Fates allow."

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

I don't like Christmas stories that are crime stories or involve killing, torture, hostages, etc. I'm thinking of movies like Reindeer Games and Bad Santa or even Die Hard, although I know a lot of people love the latter and consider it a "Christmas classic." Christmas and crime/violence just don't go together for me.

from the 1972 made-for-TV movie The House Without a Christmas Tree.

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

Addie Mills in The House Without a Christmas Tree! She is the child of my heart, and reminds me of myself at that age, except I do not have Addie's extraordinary chutzpah. I would have loved to have expressed myself verbally the way she did. But I was always drawing when I was a kid, and loved to do well in school, especially in English and vocabulary. Our house wasn't fancy, but very old-fashioned like the Mills' house. I remember looking through the frost on the windows just as Addie does, and radiators, and fathers who were gruff and smoked, round-topped refrigerators and linoleum on the floor; we had relatives with old ranges just like the one Grandma Mills cooks on. I remember wearing rubber boots like Addie and having to wear skirts to school even in winter with thick stockings under them, and doing handmade cards on construction paper for the teacher; baking cookies before Christmas (although ours were Italian cookies and not gingerbread men) and decorating the classroom at Christmas.


  1. Oh these are all lovely choices! The only one I'm not familiar with is the first, but it sounds very funny, from reading your description.

    Lassie is a precious choice... those Christmas Specials are exceptionally beautiful!!!

    The lines you chose are truly meaningful from 'Miracle on 34th Street' and 'Meet Me in St. Louis' ... endearing and sentimental!

    It's been years since I've seen 'The House Without A Christmas Tree', but I enjoyed seeing it again, now... through your eyes! I loved the way you described Addie, and the closeness you feel to her character, and the way of life as you were growing up. Shows like this are a treasure, and bring such nostalgia back to us!!!

    Enjoyed reading your post so much!!!

    Blessings, Net

  2. Linda - It's so great to see such diversity in your posts! I have never seen some of the specials and shows you described, so they will likely get added to my "to watch" list. Thanks for the tips and write-up!


  3. Linda - It's so great to see such diversity in your posts! I have never seen some of the specials and shows you described, so they will likely get added to my "to watch" list. Thanks for the tips and write-up!


  4. Thanks for participating Linda. I too love Addie in The House Without a Christmas Tree. We so looked forward to watching that movie each year when I was younger. I still enjoy it--and hope I always do :) Thanks for the reminder of why it's so special.