About Christmas TV History

Monday, July 8, 2019

Christmas in July 2019: Dana

2011 with Michael Bublé and Jimmy Fallon.

Christmas in July 2019: Dana

1. What is your favorite Saturday Night Live Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year's sketch?

Michael Bublé’s Christmas duets – A skit on his new fake album, with him singing with everyone from Sting to Justin Bieber. Bublé’s reaction to the insanity going on around him is really funny.


2. Do you most look forward to watching holiday episodes from series? Specials? Movies? Animation? or, all of it?

All of it!
- I am fanatical about Christmas episodes from retro shows, anything from the ‘50s through the ‘80s – Ozzie & Harriet, Mary Tyler Moore, The Facts of Life and everything in between. If I don’t have them on DVD, I start recording them in July when I see them pop up and save them for December. I know… I need to get a life!

- I also can’t wait for the variety specials. I love it when a channel still airs some of the older ones, like Andy Williams.
- Anything Rankin-Bass from the early ‘70s is also high on my list. Those make me feel like a kid again.
- And I look forward to watching The Christmas List with Mimi Rogers every year without fail. It’s a silly movie, but I love it; and it’s become a tradition for me.

3. What's your favorite soundtrack from a holiday program? (it doesn't have to have been officially released as an album--just what program features your favorite collection of music?)

Andy Williams and The King Family are favorites. I have the soundtracks for those specials. But I have to say it’s the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack that is played most often in my house. I love every song.

4. What one program are you patiently (or impatiently) waiting for me to review on this blog?

Maybe Monk. There were three or four Christmas episodes. I don’t think you have reviews on those, but I may have missed them.

5. What change in Christmas entertainment have you noticed over the years? Do you like the trend?

There’s a trend for every Christmas movie to be built around a romance. That’s fine sometimes, but a little variety would be nice. I’m at the point where I hardly watch those anymore. TNT had a couple of Christmas mysteries a few years back; that was a nice change of pace.
Another trend is for Christmas animation to be cutting edge. I prefer the shows from the ‘60s and ‘70s. There aren’t a lot of original, current shows with the kind of humor and sweetness those had – like Frosty, Rudolph, Charlie Brown, The Grinch. The trend now is to move away from sentimentality, and I miss that.


  1. There have been some really nice animated specials in the past few years that have been extremely charming, which you may have missed…

    DUCK THE HALLS, from the Disney Channel in 2016, is a great one. (And they also released a Halloween special, Scariest Story Ever, the following year.) Both are charming, throwback, original animated tales.

    Hallmark had two puppy-centric animated specials that were very sweet and old fashioned, and even animated in a throwback manner: JINGLE ALL THE WAY and JINGLE AND BELL'S CHRISTMAS STAR. Worth seeking out and very much in the vein of another era.

    I also think a lot of people missed out on the 2014 NBC original HOW MURRAY SAVED CHRISTMAS, based on a children's rhyming book of the same name, and it's incredibly sweet and heartwarming.

    I'd also throw in 2009's YES, VIRGINIA, which is all sentimentality, and Nick's 2016 ALBERT, about a tiny potted tree with a dream to be the Empire City Christmas Tree.

    All are about as old fashioned as you get and completely charming and sweet.

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  2. My co-workers still quote one of the monk Christmas episodes (the one with death of homeless friend). "Do you want some street gravy with that?"

  3. I also like the variety shows but also the Bob Hope specials.

  4. I love The Christmas List too! Relieved I got the DVD since it's hard to find on TV these days, especially since there's a newer movie with the same name...😊