About Christmas TV History

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Randall Buie

Christmas in July 2016: Randall Buie

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

It is not Christmas without at least one viewing of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.  In 1977, many years before I bought a video recorder, I made an audio tape of Magoo by placing a microphone against the TV speaker during a broadcast of the syndicated version.  That sufficed me until the official release to home video in the mid 80s.

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

Several years ago I purchased a Shari Lewis Christmas DVD.  The DVD contains three Christmas themed programs from Shari's Saturday morning program of the '60s.  In one episode, everyone is preparing for the holidays but Lamb Chop is unexpectedly grouchy and wants nothing to do with the celebration.  It is finally revealed that she is in a bad mood because she is broke and feels bad that she cannot buy a gift for her friend.  Her confession and the resulting reconciliation scene really gets to me, probably because I recall being in the same predicament several times during my life.

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

Strange as it may seem, I really enjoy hearing Ernest P. Worrell singing "O Christmas Tree" in "Ernest Saves Christmas".  Such deep lyrics -- ""O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree." Second place would probably go to a line in "The Lord's Bright Blessing" from the Magoo program -- "Start smiling and enjoy with me the miracle of now."

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

Not an entire program, but one line in A Garfield Christmas always makes me cringe.  Jon Arbuckle and his pets visit his parents' farmhouse for Christmas.  Early Christmas morning the family wakes up and opens their gifts.  The mother then says "Well that was a wonderful Christmas."  What?  It's 7AM on December 25.  Christmas is not over.  The belief that Christmas ends when all of the gifts are unwrapped is foreign to my family.

from Mickey's Christmas Carol

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

I spent my forty years of professional life in the Finance and Accounting world.  I've always used the character of Ebenezer Scrooge as a guide of who not to be.  Here is a man that surrounds himself in the world of money and lives most of his life shutting himself off from the world of humans and emotions just so he can expand his wealth.  The pursuit of a financially secure life is important, but so are family, friends, and enjoyment of the now.


  1. Oh no! Christmas can't be over at 7AM on Christmas Day! We celebrate it all day together, and then we have a special Christmas dinner at the end of a very long day!!! Ending at 7AM would be a complete foreign concept for us, too!

    That is so interesting that you always used Scrooge as your guide. We all should do that everyday... reflect on who we are, and who we can be - with a positive, merry, giving spirit!

    Blessings!!! Net

  2. Oh, that takes me back! In 1969 I got a cassette recorder for Christmas. I have so many of my favorite Christmas programs audio taped from their original TV broadcasts: The Homecoming, The House Without a Christmas Tree, The Night the Animals Talked, etc. I also have stuff on audio tape that I'd love to have on DVD: CBS: On the Air (their 50th anniversary celebration), NBC: The First Fifty Years, What Katy Did from Once Upon a Classic (remember that on PBS?).

  3. That was interesting what you mentioned about a Garfield Christmas. I have always been fond of that special and never really thought much about that scene but i totally get where your coming from..Christmas day shouldn't end when the presents are unwrapped!

  4. I think our family has probably said "that was a wonderful Christmas" as we sat around after the gifts were unwrapped; or something along those lines. We weren't talking about the gifts, per se, but the entire season that lead up to that moment. And we still continue celebrating throughout the day, but it can certainly feel like a marathon has been run through the Christmas season -- parties, prep, visits, baking, parades, shows, etc. -- that culminates with getting everything under the tree and once that mission is accomplished, there's a satisfaction/relief. I LOVE Christmas, but I probably don't really relax until that moment, too. I'm guessing a lot of moms and dads would feel the same way.

  5. My friend in the late 70s used her tape recorder to record the songs from the TV broadcast of Rudolph (we didn't know a soundtrack existed!). I remember listening to that audio tape over and over--and memorizing the words so we could sing along. I thought she was genius for even thinking of it! Apparently, lots of people thought of that! I love it! Thanks for the reminder and thanks for participating Randall :D