About Christmas TV History

Monday, July 16, 2018

Christmas in July 2018: Mike Westfall

from 1987's Muppet Family Christmas.
Christmas in July 2018: Mike Westfall from adventcalendar.house

1) Name your favorite Henson's Muppet Christmas program and why.

Muppet Family Christmas has been a must-watch for me for the last 30 Christmases — and sometimes in the spring and summer. Getting over 100 Muppets together in one room (and yes, I’ve counted) was a big deal that didn’t happen often, and Jim Henson’s cameo at the end still makes me feel my feelings.

I like the John Denver album way better than the special. My earliest memory — Christmas or otherwise — is my parents decorating the tree on Christmas Eve with that record on, and 4-year-old me jumping on the couch shouting BA-DUM BUM BUM!

The California Raisins from 1987's A Claymation Christmas Celebration.
2) Which decade produced the bulk of your favorite Christmas entertainment?

’80s, and it’s not even close, thanks to the birth of VHS and filling 8-hour tapes with Christmas specials off the TV starring the Smurfs, He-Man, Garfield, and the California Raisins. My mom later transferred those warped videotapes to DVD, vintage commercials and all.

Raymond Brigg's The Snowman.

3) Imagine the entertainment behind your ideal Christmas Eve dinner. Name the appetizer, entré, and dessert.

    •    Appetizer: The Snowman, but with the David Bowie intro.
    •    Entrée: This was a tough one, but I’m going with It’s a Wonderful Life. I’m pretty strategic with when I watch things — Nightmare Before Christmas comes on or shortly after Halloween, Elf during Thanksgiving weekend, and the Muppets get in pretty early as well. By Christmas Eve, It’s a Wonderful Life is the best of what’s left.
    •    Dessert: The original, animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas from 1966.

4) What Christmas episode, special or movie doesn't exist--that you wish did?

The shows on TGIF crossed over a lot, but somehow never on Christmas.

5) If one Christmas movie, special or episode was to be selected for a time capsule to opened in 1,000 years, which title do you think should be included?

Muppet Christmas Carol. It’s both my favorite Muppet movie and my favorite Dickens adaptation, and a surprisingly faithful one that hits all the right notes for a message I’d want to send into the future.


  1. There was a California Raisins Christmas special? How have I never heard of that? I'm going to have to find it before the holidays :)

  2. I'm so impressed with everyone's creativity--your answer to #4 is a great one! There could be a blizzard that sweeps the country, or a hottest toy of the year shortage--something that would connect them all. What could have been!

  3. So glad you included The Snowman (with the David Bowie intro) and The California Raisins, Mike.