About Christmas TV History

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Year in Review: 2016

Before I move on to new content in the new year, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on the previous year.  I collected the top five most popular posts from this website written in 2016. I was a little surprised by a few of them--maybe you will be surprised too. Curious about past Year in Review essays? Check out the 2014 and 2015 Year in Review posts again.

5. The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour Christmas episode from 1969. Classic TV variety shows are a fun nostalgic trip, aren't they? This Christmas episode included special guests Cher, Andy Griffith, and Paul Lynde. I wrote about this program back in April because it is referenced in the 1988 Christmas episode of The Wonder Years. Don't you love it when TV characters can be seen watching TV?

Who are your favorite Rankin/Bass animated elves? Do they match my selections?

4. Last March, I created my favorites list of Top 5 Rankin/Bass Elves. The essay and commentary were created as a part of the Classic Film & TV Café blogathon about TV Sidekicks. And who are Santa's favorite sidekicks but his elves? This one was fun to write so I'm pleased to see that it was a popular one to read as well. Classic Film & TV Café blogathons are can't-miss events and there's a new one coming next month on TV movies! Check it out.

3. Another TV variety Christmas episode cracked the top 5 most popular posts last year. In June, I wrote about the 1968 holiday installment of The Dean Martin Show, with guest stars Dom DeLuise, Bob Newhart, and Dennis Weaver. The classic never go out of style, do they?

2. Not so surprising is the 1960 Christmas episode of The Twilight Zone showing up in this list of last year's most popular essays. The episode "Night of the Meek" starring Art Carney--a disillusioned department store Santa Claus yearns for the ability to offer more to those in his impoverished neighborhood--is a heart warming story that few forget after watching. "Night of the Meek" is not just a memorable Twilight Zone episode but an outstanding example of the best of television too.

1. The most popular post from 2016 was my introduction to our Christmas in July readers' blogathon. For the past three years, this introduction has reached the top 5 most popular posts of the year. The annual post is where I announce the mini-questionnaire and invite everyone to respond with their answers--which I reveal throughout the month of July. Here's the recap of July's responses. Should we do it again this year? What questions do you want to see participants respond to this year? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Do you remember reading each of these most popular entries in 2016? As I plan my upcoming schedule of reviews, do you have any requests?  Let me know in the comments below.  Happy New Year! May the best of life be yours in 2017.

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com


  1. Love reading what you come up with. You keep Christmas alive throughout the year, and for me (and many others) that is a great thing. So thank you.

    As for other posts. Hmm... Have you don't some where you highlight episodes of shows or plots of movies that are variations on a theme? Like stories that have done their twist on the It's a Wonderful Life plot device or A Christmas Carol? Gift of the Magi? Just a thought off the top of my head, and I apologize if you have already done so.

    Here's to a great 2017 to you, too, Joanna!

  2. My suggestion for a question in the Christmas in July blogathon: Name an obscure or rarely-aired Christmas special or episode, one that other readers may have forgotten or may have never seen, that you really love.

    1. For example, I had almost completely forgotten about "J.T." before you wrote about it. Rewatching it was like being 5 years old again. Besides, J.T. is really good. It shouldn't be forgotten.