About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Mitchell Hadley

Christmas in July 2016: Mitchell Hadley of It's About TV!

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

Because it's the first one we watch, I have to go with Miracle on 34th Street. We watch it every Thanksgiving eve, and when the first notes from the theme start up, with Kris walking down the streets of New York, I know the season has begun!

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

I'm not someone who tears up, so I'll have to fudge this a bit, but I do find myself deeply moved by the scene in The Little Drummer Boy when Aaron approaches the Baby Jesus to plead for the life of his lamb, with the Vienna Choir Boys singing "Angel's lullaby" in the background.

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

I really had to think about this, and changed my mind once or twice, but I'm going to go with We're No Angels, when Aldo Ray's character Albert says "If crime showed on a man's face, there wouldn't be any mirrors." For a comedy, that's a profound - and true - statement.

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

Not frightened, but I have to admit I've become irritated over the years by White Christmas. Heresy, I realize, but Rosemary Clooney's character Betty Haynes just drives me crazy! Talk about repressed! She's also terrible at communicating - is Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) supposed to be able to read her mind as to what's bothering her? I know we're supposed to believe they live happily ever after, but I don't see how it ever lasts - especially after Bing meets Grace Kelly in The Country Girl. Honorable mention has to go to Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life - how many times do you have to get hit over the head before you get it, George - he's an angel!

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

What a great question!  I thought about Fred Gailey, the character played by John Payne, because of his profound beliefs in faith and fighting for the underdog, but I'm going with Ebenezer Scrooge, in any of the various adaptations. Scrooge reminds me not only of our need for redemption, but that no matter how old you are, what you've done, or how long it's been, it's always available to those who seek it. I identify with Scrooge not because I've done the specific things he's done, but because like him, I am a miserable sinner in need of forgiveness and redemption - mea maxima culpa. (It's a nice tie-in to my quote from question #3.) And since the season is all about the birth of a Savior who in time becomes a Redeemer, I can't think of a better message.


  1. I'm not a romance book reader, but I have read a few, and the convention in WHITE CHRISTMAS with Bob and Betty is pure romance novel contrivance. I find it irritating, too.

  2. Enjoyed reading your responses very much, Mitchell! I miss when they used to traditionally play 'Miracle on 34th Street" on NBC right after the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving Day. That is one of the best first movies to watch for the season since it incorporates both holidays and the beautiful sentiment that "Christmas isn't just a day..."

    I'm glad you also mentioned 'The Little Drummer Boy'. What a heartwarming story! Very moving!

    Your reference to Scrooge at the end is also very true for us all! Indeed,, we are all in need of a Savior and how wonderful it is we all come together to celebrate that first perfect gift, the birth of Jesus, each Christmas!!!

    Blessings!!! Net

  3. I love your reference to We're No Angels. I think quite a few viewers still don't realize that the movie takes place at Christmas. And, what a fantastic cast! Thanks for participating Mitchell :D