Monday, August 2, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: RECAP

 

 


Did you check out all the daily posts during the Christmas in July marathon? In case you were late to the party this summer, here's your chance to catch up. Below is a complete list of links to each of discussions on Christmas entertainment with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. The month goes by quickly, doesn't it?

Thanks to everyone who followed along and to all who left comments. If you would still like to leave comments, please feel free to do so--the discussion doesn't have to end just because the marathon is over.  And, keep your eyes open--the expanded and updated encyclopedia Tis the Season TV is coming this holiday season. Merry Christmas in July!

 


Christmas Down Under (Southern Hemisphere):

Bush Christmas (1947) and (1983) Australia 

Bluey (2020) Australia

The Monster's Christmas (1982) New Zealand

A Very Barry Christmas (2005) Australia

Koala Brothers (2005) Australia

 

 


Tropical/World Destination Christmases:

Operation Christmas Drop (2020) Guam

Father Christmas (1991) multiple destinations, including Las Vegas

Jack Frost 2 (2000) the Caribbean

The Love Boat (1980) Mexico  

Holiday in the Wild (2019) Zambia

How to Ruin a Christmas: The Wedding (2020) South Africa 



 


Christmas in Hawaii:

Perry Como's Christmas in Hawaii (1985) variety special

Bob Hope's Christmas in Hawaii (1989) variety special

Jim Nabors' Christmas in Hawaii (1981) variety special

Magnum P.I. (1983)

Biggest Little Christmas Showdown (2020) 

Same Time, Next Christmas (2019) 

 



Summer Camp Christmas:

Hey Dude (1990)

Camp Candy (1989)

Camp Lazlo (2007)

Bunk'd (2015)

Summer House (2019) 

Christmas Camp (2019)

 

 


Christmas in July stories: 

Rudolph & Frosty's Christmas in July (1979)

Christmas in July (1940) movie 

Cimarron City (1958)

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (2013)

It's Punky Brewster (1985)

Baby Looney Tunes (2002)

Home Adventures with Tip and Oh (2016) 

My World and Welcome to It (1969) Christmas/Flag story for 4th of July

 




Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com




Saturday, July 31, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Koala Brothers (2005)

 

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #31 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I have been celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. We have seen a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

For today's final Christmas in July discussion, let's look at another holiday story set Down Under, in Australia where Christmas takes place in the summer time: the 2005 episode "Outback Christmas" from the Playhouse Disney series The Koala Brothers. (Playhouse Disney was the precursor to Disney Jr.) The series is a stop motion animated, international production.

 


In the third season episode"Outback Christmas," Penny the Penguin has hurt her wing and is unable to travel to the Outback for the Koala Brothers’ Christmas party. Koala Brothers Buster and Frank don’t feel much like celebrating without their friend Penny so they fly to the South Pole to pick her up. But the aviators’ long journey is arduous due to snowy weather conditions and a lost map. The rest of the gang tries to help out by decorating the Koala Brothers’ homestead to prepare for the party. Once at the South Pole, Frank takes a turn learning to ski before flying home to the Outback. Ned figures out how to work the two-way radio and guides the brothers in a nighttime landing using the holiday lights and decorations. Later everyone celebrates together with paper crowns, crackers, and a Christmas dinner.



The voice cast for this hour-long stop motion animated series includes Keith Wickham as Frank, Rob Rackstraw as Buster, and Janet James as Penny.

This is the final FUN IN THE SUN discussion for the Christmas in July party, however tomorrow I'll be posting a list of links to all 31 of the daily discussions. Happy Christmas in July! Thanks for following along.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: A Very Barry Christmas (2005)

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #30 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

For today's Christmas in July discussion, let's return to where we started with another holiday story set Down Under, in Australia where Christmas takes place in the summer time. Do you remember the 2005 stop motion animated TV special A Very Barry Christmas?

 

A Very Barry Christmas - Trailer from Distribution 360 on Vimeo.


A look-alike, Australian Outback wild animal tour guide named Barry accidentally gets switched with Santa Claus, jeopardizing the Christmas Eve annual toy delivery. Mrs. Claus keeps the mix-up a secret while she works to get Barry ready to fill-in while she waits for the real Santa to find his way back to the North Pole. A wanna-be reindeer named Nutmeg helps Barry learn to commandeer the sleigh while Santa desperately tries to get a kangaroo, a platypus, a koala, and a crocodile in the Outback to believe him when he claims to be St. Nick.

Viewers can tell the look-alike from the real Santa because the Australian has a yellow mustache!

This hour-long TV special was created by Cuppa Coffee Studios, and includes comedic actor Colin Mochrie as the voice of Barry.

Just one more day of the month-long celebration of FUN IN THE SUN Christmas programs. Have you followed along all month? Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding (2020)

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #29 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 2020 Netflix comedy series How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding set in South Africa. The short series is three episodes long. (Although there are hints there will be more installments in the future!)

 


 

In the first episode "It’s Not What It Looks Like," Tumi arrives back in her hometown to attend her sister Beauty’s Christmas wedding. Things are not off to a strong start when her mother and family are critical of everything Tumi says and does. But when she drunkenly sleeps with a member of the groom’s family on the night before her sister’s ceremony, Tumi has no one to blame but herself.

In the second episode "I'll Handle This," Tumi’s best friend Khaya wants to acknowledge their past history and shared feelings but Tumi isn’t ready. Beauty’s wedding is called off by both sides of the family and then reinstated. But Beauty can’t move forward until she asks her father to walk her down the isle--the same man who abandoned her as a child. Tumi supports her sister’s wish and accompanies her to their father’s home but the visit doesn’t go as imagined.

In the third episode "Can't a Girl Catch a Break," Tumi spills Beauty’s secret and the wedding is called off. On Christmas Eve, the bride’s family and the groom’s family must clean up their own problems. Eventually Dineo uses the spirit of the season to convince the groom’s family to embrace love and forgiveness. Everyone agrees that the wedding is back on.
 


The wedding ceremony itself is a melding of traditional and contemporary African culture, as well as Western and South African tradition. 

The cast includes Busi Lurayi as Tumi Sello, Thando Thabethe as Beauty Sello, Yonda Thomas as best friend Khaya Manqele, Clementine Mosimane as Dineo Sello, Motlatsi Mafatshe as the best man Themba Twala, and Sandile Mahlangu as the groom Sbu Twala.

Viewers will have to wait until the third episode to see holiday decorations. This South African series isn't as saturated with Christmas content as a typical Hallmark movie yet it doesn't detract from the holiday story.

This was day #2 of Christmas stories set in Africa. Tomorrow's post will circle back to the start of our FUN IN THE SUN Christmas in July celebration.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com


 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Holiday in the Wild (2019)

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #28 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 2019 Netflix movie Holiday in the Wild set in Zambia, a nation in southern Africa with a tropical climate.



Kate Conrad sets out on a safari adventure after her husband leaves her despite being alone. She is escorted while on the safari by a handsome pilot named Derek across an animal preserve in Zambia. Helping out a baby elephant, Kate is introduced to the elephant orphanage and decides to stay. Kate is a New Yorker with an unused veterinarian degree. She finds new purpose when she feels needed at the animal preserve. She stays several months and celebrates Christmas with her new friends--the staff at the elephant orphanage. When her divorce papers come through, Kate decides to return to New York for the new year. When the orphanage’s funding falls through, Kate is excited to share her wealthy contacts to assist in fundraising. But true love finds Kate wanting to return to the animal preserve. In the spirit of the season's call for compassion and giving, the movie’s end credits request viewers' support for elephant conservation efforts.

The cast includes Kristin Davis as Kate Conrad, Rob Lowe as Derek, and Fezile Mpela as Jonathan.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical Christmas program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: The Love Boat (1980)


 

Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #27 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 1980 Christmas episode of The Love Boat. This fourth season episode sees the cruise ship's destination as Mexico (either Acapulco or Puerto Vallarta). 

 

l to r: Meeno Peluce,  Dirk Benedict, and Beth Scheffell.


The episode "The Captain’s Bird/That’s My Dad/Captive Audience" features three story lines (as usual). In “The Captain’s Bird,” Captain Stubing puts Gopher in charge of acquiring Vicky’s Christmas present--a talking parrot. Unfortunately, the bird repeats nasty insults. In “That’s My Dad,” a young abused boy named Scott stows away on the Pacific Princess and is befriended by a single man Jeff who the cruise staff mistakes for his father. 

 

l to r: Jack Jones with real-life father Allan Jones.

 

And, in “Captive Audience,” a father and son Richard and Bob Braddock reunite after years of not talking. In this story, Rich and Bob are both professional entertainers played by singers Allan Jones and Jack Jones who are real-life father and son. Jack Jones is also the performer who croons The Love Boat series theme song.

In this episode, Jack Jones takes the stage to sing the holiday standard “Winter Wonderland.”

Guest stares include Jack Jones as Bob Braddock, Allan Jones as Rich Braddock, Dorothy Lamour as Lil Braddock, Dirk Benedict as Jeff Dalton, and Meeno Peluce as young Scott.

 

 

 

 

This disco version of The Love Boat theme makes me want to watch the whole TV series all over again! Enjoy.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical vacation Christmas program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Jack Frost 2 (2000)

 

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #26 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 2000 campy horror/comedy Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer. This low-budget film is a sequel to the 1997 camp classic Jack Frost that deviates from the killer Santa Claus model to explore a deadly snowman character. This movie fits our Christmas in July theme because the 2000 sequel takes place in the tropical Caribbean. 

 


 

If you'll remember, the first movie sees a serial killer named Jack Frost escape a death sentence with the electric chair when his prison transport truck overturns in a road accident. The killer is mutated by genetic material spewing from the truck in the collision. Jack Frost transforms into a snowman hell-bent on exacting revenge upon the sheriff and the little town where he was first captured and sent to prison.

In the sequel, the sheriff and his wife try to escape the memory of the last miserable Christmas by going on a tropical vacation. Unfortunately, the chemical company has unearthed the serial killer Jack Frost to discover the mutant formula that brought him to life. This allows the serial killer to re-form and follow the sheriff to his Caribbean vacation. Making things worse, Jack has outgrown his resistance to anti-freeze and has learned how to reproduce, populating the tropical paradise with killer baby snowballs! Be sure to grab a banana daiquiri when you watch this fun movie.
 

The cast includes Christopher Allport as Sam, Eileen Seeley as wife Anne, Chip Heller as Joe, and the voice of Jack MacDonald as Jack Frost.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical vacation Christmas program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Father Christmas (1991)

 

Father Christmas (1991)

 

Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #25 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 1991 animated TV special Father Christmas. Here we see what Santa does all year long--including go on a summer vacation!

 

 

You may already be familiar with the more popular and well known animated TV special The Snowman, also based on a Raymond Briggs book.

 

Father Christmas is a British-made, half-hour animated story offering an amusing look at the life of Santa Claus and his activities the other days of the year when he’s not delivering toys. A fabulous TV special based on two Raymond Briggs books, "Father Christmas" and "Father Christmas Goes on Holiday."

The story begins when Father Christmas finishes his annual toy delivery to return to his very ordinary home. Like most people, he drinks tea and attends to domestic activities, even planning a vegetable garden. Santa leaves for an extended holiday, overindulging in food while on vacation in France.  He gets drunk in Scotland and goes to Las Vegas to enjoy the sun, gambling and the showgirls. He’s even human enough to steal the hotel’s towels!

 

Father Christmas enjoying the pool.
 


Returning home after a long summer break, he begins answering the letters he’s received, picking up his red suit from the cleaners and organizing his Christmas Eve journey. On that magical night delivering toys, he interacts with the flying snowmen at the North Pole in an overlapping sequence from the other Briggs’ Christmas TV special The Snowman.  Father Christmas also makes one last minute delivery to two special young princes in London.

This is a very human depiction of Santa, a side of the myth rarely explored. Father Christmas here is very working-class, subject to the same mortal experiences such as overeating, excessive drinking and cantankerousness as the rest of us. This view of the St. Nick leaves out Mrs. Claus, the elves and his home in the North Pole in exchange for a delightful, touching new look at the familiar character.

Father Christmas sings the tune "Merry Bloomin’ Christmas" as he makes his annual rounds on Christmas Eve. Actor Mel Smith provides the voice to Father Christmas.


 

 

Raymond Brigg's illustrated books have also inspired the animated TV specials The Snowman from 1982, 1998’s The Bear, and 2012’s The Snowman and the Snowdog.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite summer vacation Christmas program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Operation Christmas Drop (2020)

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #24 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

This week I have been sharing Hawaiian yuletide programs, however lets move a little further across the Pacific Ocean to Guam. Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 2020 Netflix movie Operation Christmas Drop.

 

 

This Netflix Christmas movie is set on a military base in Guam. In this story, Erica is hoping to be promoted to Chief of Staff working for Congresswoman Bradford in Washington D.C. When Erica is given the order to fly to Guam for Christmas to investigate the military involvement in Operation Christmas Drop, she does it. Bradford’s investigation is looking for justification to de-fund unnecessary military bases. She arrives on the island and is given a very thorough tour by a pilot named Andrew. Recognizing she’s being distracted from the personnel’s real actions, Erica investigates the island by herself. She learns about the humanitarian effort by off-duty military to distribute essential goods and supplies to remote areas in the South Pacific. Erica’s holiday spirit is renewed and she comes to see the value of the military to the local islanders in the area, but she's concerned about convincing her boss Congresswoman Bradford.

The cast includes Kat Graham as Erica, Alexander Ludwig as Capt. Andrew, and Virginia Madsen as Congresswoman Bradford. Brother Bruce Best is played by the real-life do-gooder who volunteers as the outer island liaison.

 


 

The above video is actual footage of Operation Christmas Drop performed in 2019. The visually stunning views and efforts to help others is inspiring material for a feel-good Christmas movie.

The Netflix film captures views like no other Christmas TV movie, including underwater snorkeling, and shots out the back of a cargo plane cruising over islands, beaches and ocean. Make sure to watch the movie through the end credits in order to see more historic photos of the real-life Christmas air drops in the South Pacific across the past 50 years. 

The movie was filmed at the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, a stop that Bob Hope's USO tours also made when traveling through the Pacific with his Christmas shows.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical Christmas program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Same Time, Next Christmas (2019)


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #23 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

This week I'm sharing Hawaiian yuletide programs. Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 2019 TV movie Same Time, Next Christmas which made its debut on ABC.


 

 

Every family has different traditions for celebrating Christmas. The Andersons and the Williams family both celebrate at the same resort every year in Hawaii. That is, until Jeff’s mother unexpectedly dies during his teen years. Fifteen years later, Jeff and his father return to the resort to find that the Anderson family still comes there each year at Christmas, including Jeff’s former best friend Olivia. Now grown, Jeff and Olivia feel that same spark for each other that they’ve always had for one another, however their relationship timing is not right. Jeff decides to give his broken relationship with his wife one last go, and a following year Olivia becomes engaged to her co-worker Gregg. In Hawaii at Christmas, will Jeff and Olivia ever admit they feel that they are each other’s soulmate?

The cast includes Lea Michele as Olivia Anderson, Charles Michael Davis as Jeff Williams, Bryan Greenberg as Gregg Harris, George Newbern as Olivia’s father Woody Anderson, Nia Vardalos as Olivia’s mother Faye Anderson, and Phil Morris as Jeff’s father Alec Williams.



 

After its initial debut on ABC, this Christmas TV movie also aired in 2019 on Freeform. Lea Michele’s version of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is heard at the movie’s start, and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” with Jonathan Groff, at the movie’s end. Both of the songs can be found on her 2019 album “Christmas in the City.” 

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical, Christmas in Hawaii program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Biggest Little Christmas Showdown (2020)

 

The reality competition series Biggest Little Christmas Showdown.

 

Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #22 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

This week I'm sharing Hawaiian yuletide programs. Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 2020 episode "Mini Mele Kalikimaka Christmas" from the HGTV series Biggest Little Christmas Showdown.

 

 

 

This Christmas reality competition series features teams of designers and miniaturists building holiday doll houses for a $50,000 prize. The host is Tony-winner James Monroe Iglehart, with HGTV’s Genevieve Gorder, miniaturist June Clinkscales, and Hollywood visual effects artist Dave Asling as judges.

In this first episode of the series, the three teams must construct a scene interpreting the holiday theme of Mele Kalikimaka--Christmas in Hawaii. The mother-daughter team of Tracy & Renee are working on a one-story beach house decorated for Christmas. The team of friends Greg & Katie are constructing an Aloha Abode: a three-story Barbie Dreamhouse in a tropical setting. And the team of fiancés Amanda & Bree are constructing Santa’s tiki boat anchored off the beach. After the teams begin working, the challenge of a water feature is added. Tracy and Renee win the challenge with their coy pond. The teams are adding details to their structures up until the final seconds of the competition. The winners move on to the finalé. 

 


This four-episode series is an example of a new style of series that has recently EXPLODED on television: reality competition Christmas series. I'm not talking about a single Christmas episode found within a series. I'm referring to whole series in which every episode is Christmas-themed. Biggest Little Christmas Showdown is an example, but so is The Great Christmas Light Fight (on ABC), Holiday Baking Championship (on Food Network), Christmas Cookie Challenge (also on Food network), Top Elf (on Nickelodeon), The Christmas Caroler Challenge (on the CW), Buddy Vs. Christmas (also on Food network), Wrap Battle (on Freeform), Rocket Around the Xmas Tree (on Discovery), Sugar Rush Christmas (on Netflix), Cake Wars Christmas (also on Food network), Christmas Cookie Matchup (on Hallmark Drama), Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas (on Netflix), Nailed It Holiday (on Netflix), and more. These are all reality competition series with contestants competing in activities as diverse as cookie baking to rocketry to choir-singing to gift wrapping to building miniatures! It's an exciting time to be watching Christmas entertainment, right?

Got a favorite Christmas reality competition series? Feel free to leave comments down below. Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Magnum P.I. (1983)

L to R: Rick, Higgins, TC and center is Thomas Magnum.

 

Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #21 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

This week I'm sharing Hawaiian yuletide programs. Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 1983 episode "Operation: Silent Night" from the TV series Magnum P.I. Fans of the series remember that this series takes place in Hawaii so it perfectly fits in with our tropical Christmas theme this week.

In this episode, TC, Higgins, Rick, and Magnum crash land their malfunctioning helicopter on a deserted island. Not sure how long they may be stranded, they each busy themselves with ways to be rescued. The men miss out on their holiday plans but it becomes the least of their problems when the small island is shelled by the Navy during a training exercise. 

 

 

The cast includes Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, Larry Manetti as Rick, Roger E. Mosely as T.C., and John Hillerman as Higgins. Don't miss Magnum dressed in a Santa Claus suit. In the final scene, the men share in singing “Silent Night.”

 

The first season's holiday episode.

There's also an earlier episode, 1980's "Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too" from the first season. Magnum is hired by five little girls to find their missing school teacher and her boyfriend. However, the investigation is a scam in order for the girls to steal a valuable painting from the Masters' estate that Magnum is responsible for protecting. The episode's story takes place at Christmas too.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical, Christmas in Hawaii program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Jim Nabors’ Christmas in Hawaii (1981)

My copy of the 1981 album soundtrack was autographed by Carol Burnett!?
 

Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #20 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

This week I'm sharing Hawaiian yuletide programs. Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 1981 TV variety special Jim Nabor's Christmas in Hawaii. The rare and forgotten, one-hour syndicated Christmas music special was shot in Hawaii, hosted by singer/actor Jim Nabors. His special guests are Carol Burnett, Tom Selleck, Susan Anton, the Brothers Cazimero, and the Honolulu Boy Choir. Fans of The Carol Burnett Show will remember that Nabors guested quite a bit on her show. It's nice to see him welcome the talented Burnett on his special too.

The highlights include Nabors’ reverent performances in a church with a live audience of “O Come All Ye Faithful/Adeste Fidelis” and “O Holy Night” accompanied by the Honolulu Boy Choir. Nabors also sings “Silent Night” at Pearl Harbor. It is a shame that this TV special is overlooked and forgotten. I'd love to see the comedy sketch with Tom Selleck, and the Hawaiian-themed version of the song "Twelve Days of Christmas"--two performances hinted at in photos on the soundtrack album.



 

The TV special’s soundtrack was released under the title Christmas in Hawaii with Jim Nabors by Blue Water Records. The song listing for Side 1: “Christmas All Over the World,” “Doodle Ee Doo,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Twelve Days of Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Side 2 includes “Jingle Bells,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Aloha Kalikimaka,” “Hasegawa General Store,” “The First Noel,” “Away in a Manger,” and “Silent Night.”

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical, Christmas in Hawaii program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Bob Hope's Christmas in Hawaii (1989)

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #19 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

This week I'm moving on to share Hawaiian yuletide programs. Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 1989 TV variety special Bob Hope's Christmas Show from Waikoloa, Hawaii. Bob Hope’s guest stars are Barbara Eden, The Judds, the Associated Press’ All America Football Team, and Rose Queen Yasmine Delawari. The show is shot at the Hyatt Regency in Waikoloa, Hawaii.

Comedian Bob Hope opens his variety show, like he does every year, on stage with a comedy monologue. Here, he does it on a stage outdoors at the Hyatt Regency in front of a live audience. Next, Naomi and Wynonna Judd perform as The Judds singing “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.” Actor Barbara Eden joins Hope on stage to exchange punchlines. The show continues with a second monologue by Bob in front of a live audience. This is followed by Hope introducing the latest Associated Press’ All America Football Team. Hope and Eden stroll through the palm trees and tiki torches to sing “Silver Bells.” This is followed by a comedy sketch “Steel Petunias” a parody of the movie “Steel Magnolias.” The sketch features Naomi Judd as Sally Field’s character M’Lynn, Wynonna Judd as Julia Roberts’ character Shelby, Barbara Eden as Shirley MacLaine’s character Ouiser, and Bob Hope in drag playing Dolly Parton’s role Truvy. Next, Hope introduces the beauty pageant winner 1990 Rose Queen Yasmine Delawari and they volley jokes back and forth. The Judds harmonize on “Winter Wonderland” standing above a waterfall feature. Once again, Hope re-airs the clip of himself with John Wayne, first recorded on Hope’s Christmas special in 1976 in which they sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

 

 

Bob Hope is well known for his two types of Christmas variety specials. First are his Christmas USO tours escorting dancers, singers, and comedians around the world to various American military bases to entertain the soldiers. Second are Hope's network studio Christmas variety specials. This 1989 one is later in Hope's career. It combines the outdoor location stage productions of the USO tours with the production values of the more controlled studio specials.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical, Christmas in Hawaii program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Perry Como's Christmas in Hawaii (1985)

 

 

Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #18 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

This week I'm moving on to share Hawaiian yuletide programs. Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 1985 TV variety special Perry Como's Christmas in Hawaii. Crooner Perry Como's annual holiday specials became a tour of romantic and exotic locations starting in 1975. Como's musical guests in the 1985 special are Marie Osmond, Burt Reynolds, the Tihati dancers, the Kamehameha School Concert Glee Club, and the Hawaiian Young Singers.


 

Perry opens his show relaxing on the beach singing Irving Berlin’s “Happy Holidays” and “Christmas in Hawaii.” Perry and Marie Osmond enjoy a hayride over the lush green Hawaiian terrain while singing “Sleigh Ride” and “Jesus Is Born Today.” Next, Marie and Perry attend a Christmas luau, and together they sing “Mele Kalikimaka.” Como and actor Burt Reynolds share a conversation on the beach, and sing “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening,” “How About You?,” and “Don’t Fence Me In” together. The Hawaiian Young Singers perform “Joy to the World” at a historic church on the islands. Perry joins the Young Singers to sing “Deck the Halls” as they decorate a Christmas tree together, and then “Silent Night.” Marie and Perry also take an island tour, and go deep sea fishing. The couple duets on “Far Away Places.” 

 

Perry joins a group of children building a sand (snow)man on the beach, and he sings “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Perry notes how Hawaii is a location that inspires romance, and Marie sings “There’s No Stoppin’ Your Heart,” followed by Perry and Marie singing Stevie Wonder’s hit song “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” A Hawaiian children’s choir sings “The Little Drummer Boy” with bamboo percussive instruments. On the beach, there’s a Hawaiian-style living Nativity display. A chorus sings “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” Perry Como performs “The First Noel,” Marie Osmond sings “Away in a Manger,” and Perry sings “O Holy Night.” And, Como with the Kamehameha Choir perform “Ave Maria” in the hills above the beach.

 

 

 

Sorry this clip isn't a Christmas song. But it was just too good, too kitchy and too campy to not share!

Perry Como entertained at Christmas on TV for decades, on his own series and with annual holiday variety specials. However, in 1975 he began an annual tradition of Christmas specials shot away from stuffy, confined network studios and took his cameras to exotic locations, often shooting outdoors.

The best thing about Como's destination holiday specials was his immersion in the culture. He usually included artists and performers from the local culture to perform in their native language. He also filmed at local landmarks and included remarks about local customs and Christmas traditions. From the summary above, you can see how Como's special included Hawaiian artists and attempted to reflect the customs and traditions of the region. This is typical of the other destination Christmas specials as well.

Como's annual destination Christmas specials took him to far-off places, such as Mexico (in 1975), Austria (in 1976), the Holy Land (in 1980) and Paris (in 1982). He also explored closer destinations but included the same romanticism and charm as the others, including his Christmas special in the historic Williamsburg, Virginia (in 1978), New Mexico (in 1979), and Christmas in New York (in 1983). Como's Christmas in Hawaii in 1985 was his next to last Christmas destination special. His final major network Christmas TV special was 1986's Christmas in San Antonio. His last Christmas special was 1994's Perry Como's Irish Christmas, a live concert taped in Dublin, for PBS.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical, Christmas in Hawaii program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

 

 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Christmas Camp (2019)

 

 


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #17 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

This week I'm sharing summer camp yuletide stories. Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the TV movie Christmas Camp--think: summer camp getaway with a Christmas theme.

 


This Hallmark Movies & Mysteries TV movie debuted during the network's “Christmas in July” block of programming in 2019. The movie is adapted from the book by Karen Schaler. In this story, Haley Hanson really wants the toy company campaign at her work but her boss thinks she’s doesn’t have the right attitude to work on a Christmas promotion. Willing to prove her boss wrong, Haley commits to a week-long Christmas camp held at an inn to earn her certificate of completion. But the camp is far more difficult than Haley anticipated. Leaving behind her work duties and her cell phone are her first biggest challenge. As Haley participates in the camp’s daily activities centered around a theme such as love, hope, giving, sharing and inspiration, Haley gets closer to the Inn’s owner Ben and his son Jeff. When Haley helps Ben with a business idea about turning the Christmas camp into a franchise, Jeff is frustrated by her meddling with his father.

The cast includes Lily Anne Harrison as Haley Hanson, Bobby Campo as Jeff, and John James as Ben.


 

 

 

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite summer camp Christmas program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.

 

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com