About Christmas TV History

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Christmas in July 2017 ANNOUNCEMENT

Hey-hey, ho-ho! The annual Christmas in July party I host each year on this blog is happening soon.  If you've been around awhile, you may remember that each year the summer time party is a little different.  I try to do something special in July each year because we all get very busy in December and it's a fun to have a get-together when we aren't in the midst of the holiday season.

This year I'd like to repeat the mini-questionnaire as a way to spark a dialogue and to have everyone get to know each other  better.  I was inspired to try this approach from what I saw (and participated in) four years ago on the website Kindertrauma.  With their blessing, I've adapted the questionnaire to fit our needs. We did this last year too--remember all the fun answers?  Click on these links to see the 2014 recap, the 2015 recap,  and the 2016 recap.

This is how we do it: Answer the following five questions as completely or as briefly as you like.  Everyone is invited to take part--long-time readers, other bloggers, casual TV fans, or just the curious passer-by.  Everyone should feel free to join the Christmas in July party. 

Copy + Paste the questions below in an email, answer them, and email it back to me.  Send your responses in immediately and I'll email you back with a number. That number is your confirmation that I received your answers and it is your place in the queue. I will begin posting the responses starting on July 1st--and roll them out in the order received. (DON'T put your responses to the questions in the comments below--email them in). Email your responses to: Joanna @ 1701press dot com

Don't worry about photos either--I'll take care of that.  And duplicate answers are part of the party experience--don't exert too much effort trying to find rare examples for your answers. If you want to change your answers after you email them to me--please resist the urge. Instead, add comments to your own post when it goes up in July.

The Christmas in July party is supposed to be fun and entertaining so don't sweat your responses.  Don't spend four hours on it--just go with the responses that come easily. Get creative and have fun with it!

If you feel you need a little help, feel free to flip through your dog-eared copy of the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV--or put a copy on hold at your local library.  You can also use the search box on this website (not easily visible on a mobile device but it is top right of the screen for computers) or click through the archives on this website (along the sidebar on the right).  Christmas TV memories will come flooding back, I'm sure.

2017 badge

Whether you send in a response or not, please feel free to follow along throughout the month of July.  Reading other people's responses is half the fun. I want to encourage everyone to leave comments too--it makes people feel good to know their entry is being read by others. If you like, please feel free to use the Christmas in July 2017 badge on your website or social media posts to let others know what you are up to!

Let's get this party started:

Christmas TV Party 2017: (insert your name--your website/optional)

1) Who's your favorite Santa Claus? (from any TV episode, special or movie)

2) What's your favorite Christmas episode from a TV series? (NOT movie or special)

3) Do you enjoy watching Christmas entertainment year round or do you only like watching it during the holidays? And, why?

4) This is the 21st century--how do you watch TV and/or Christmas entertainment? Do you primarily watch through antenna, cable, satellite, a subscription service, or streaming? Do you primarily watch through YouTube, Netflix, Amazon prime, or Hulu? Do you use your local library? Your own DVDs, VHS tapes, or rent DVDs? A combination of these options? Explain.

5) If you were to be stranded on an island (maybe Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean!), what three Christmas movies, specials, or episodes would you like to have with you?

Since I'm hosting this party, I'll be glad to be the first one to join the party and lead by example.  Isn't this fun already?

Christmas in July 2017:  Joanna Wilson from ChristmasTVHistory.com

1) Who's your favorite Santa Claus?

I love it when an episode has too many Santas. I think it's a way for TV writers to show off an ensemble of characters' Christmas spirit. Perfect example: the 1965 Christmas episode of The Addams Family. Viewers can see Gomez, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Cousin Itt, Grandmama, AND Morticia all dressed as St. Nick for the sake of the children Pugsley and Wednesday. This sort of crowd of Santas has been done multiple times on television. I usually find it quite heart-warming.

2) What's your favorite Christmas episode from a TV series?

It is difficult for me to pick just one. Today my favorite is the 1976 Christmas episode of Laverne & Shirley, now entitled "Oh Hear the Angels' Voices," but it was originally called "Christmas at the Booby Hatch." It is a variety show-within-a-show so viewers are treated to our favorite L&S characters singing and dancing in a stage show for the holidays. I love love love the kooky song Lenny and Squiggy sing ("The Jolliest Fat Man"), and I like seeing Laverne and Shirley doing their best to sing, dance and twirl batons to entertain people in a hospital for the holiday. Other favorite episodes: the 1963 holiday episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show and the 1964 Christmas episode of Bewitched with Billy Mumy.

3) Do you enjoy watching Christmas entertainment year round or do you only like watching it during the holidays? And, why?

You know what I'm going to say, right? I enjoy watching it year round--and I always have. I especially like seeing the Christmas episodes in TV shows I'm watching in reruns. For example, I've been watching M*A*S*H reruns on MeTV lately and I'm very pleased to see the numerous Christmas episodes as the network broadcasts the entire series. It's nice to be reminded of the heart-warming holiday story lines throughout the year.

4) This is the 21st century--how do you watch TV and/or Christmas entertainment? Explain.

I know my response is going to be a unique one--I don't watch TV like anyone else. So don't compare yourself to me. But I watch TV and Christmas entertainment through every imaginable option available. I'm very resourceful. I currently have cable TV--which also includes a dozen or more antenna digi-net channels (MeTV, AntennaTV, RetroTV, CoziTV, GetTV, Movies! etc). I also use my local library's resources--they all know me there!--and always have TV series and Christmas entertainment on DVDs checked out. I also use their inter-library loan services to check out stuff from all over the country. I still have several VCRs that I regularly use to view older Christmas entertainment. I'm a Netflix subscriber--both streaming and DVDs. I still use the resources of a local video rental store--to see new releases (stuff that I want to view immediately because there's a long list of holds on the library copies, Netflix will take a day or two, and I'd rather not buy a copy to stream it). I also house-sit quite a bit throughout the year, so I have access for long periods of time to other peoples' Roku, Hulu, and Amazon Prime accounts. I keep up with new series and holiday entertainment through these avenues as well. And, yes--I do watch YouTube too. Today's options to access the archives of TV history and new releases are sometimes overwhelming. I love it!

5) If you were to be stranded on an island (maybe Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean!), what three Christmas movies, specials, or episodes would you like to have with you?

I answered a version of this question for a blogathon from last year: check out my list of 5 classic movies here. To provide a somewhat new response: Here's my list of three Christmas titles:

#3: A Charlie Brown Christmas
If I find myself stranded on a deserted island, I anticipate that I'll be craving the comforts of familiarity and home. What better to bring this feeling of comfort than the classic animated Peanuts Christmas special? Long-time readers of mine may remember that I was in a staged school production of A Charlie Brown Christmas when I was in 2nd grade--and I still remember much of the dialogue from those rehearsals. The music, the animation, and the dialogue still remind me of the warmth and glow of a pleasant childhood--and it would be nice to be reminded of these comforting memories during the long days and nights on the island.

#2: White Christmas (1954)
I anticipate having to perform quite a few mundane chores on this deserted island in order to survive. I'll probably have to gather palm fronds for a shelter, and fruits, nuts, and vegetables (I really don't see myself hunting and killing wild boar) in order to eat. I might even have to plant and harvest food to sustain a lengthy stay. UGH! These chores will go faster if I sing while I work--so I wanted to select a Christmas musical to sing along with.

The song "Snow" may help me chill out on those long, hot days stuck on a tropical island!

The lyrics to the title song "....I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know..." will certainly fit the bill, living on a tropical island. The song "Sisters" always puts a smile on my face, and "Count Your Blessings" may help inspire me to feel grateful that I'm alive during my darkest moments alone on the island. You can't beat an Irving Berlin soundtrack set against island living!

#1: The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

If you haven't already figured it out, I wouldn't really enjoy being stuck on a tropical island. The experience doesn't sound like paradise to me--it resembles torture.  So if I'm on a deserted island, my efforts will focus on trying to escape. Here's my best plan: request that the Star Wars Holiday Special be made available to me on my island. Since the 2 hour production no longer officially exists (George Lucas stopped acknowledging its existence decades ago), any search for an official print of the movie will alert certain people of importance. Disney purchased the Lucas catalog a few years back--so aggressive Disney lawyers will become involved. After they hunt down my location to deliver a cease & desist/restraint order, I'll have access to a lawyer's boat to escape my deserted island! My plan doesn't require me to actually watch the absolutely awful Star Wars Holiday Special--not again, please!--but merely to request a print for my island visit.

However, if somehow my brilliant plan doesn't work--and I do acquire a copy for The Star Wars Holiday Special for my deserted island experience, and anyone else ever washes ashore, then this movie will give us a laughable conversation piece for the rest of our long lives!

If you have any questions about Christmas in July 2017?  Ask below in the comments.

Send in your responses today!  Thanks for playing along and Merry Christmas in July.

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. Thanks Linda! Welcome back :) I emailed your number. This year's party is going to be a fun one!


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