About Christmas TV History

About Joanna Wilson

Joanna Wilson is committed to contributing to the scholarly study of television, and leading the conversation on the history of Christmas on TV. She draws upon her academic background in film history and philosophy to create insightful commentary on television, movies, and popular culture. She is the author of four books on Christmas entertainment:

Most recently, she was included in the anthology Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror in Film and Television (2017) by the Canadian publisher Spectacular Optical.

Wilson was interviewed for an article in The New York Times on Dec. 14, 2020  about LGBT holiday rom-coms for the article "Same Sex Kisses Under the Mistletoe: Holiday Movies Rethink a Formula," and again for NYT's "Better Than Besties: Why Gay Holiday Films Matter" on Dec. 22, 2020. She was also interviewed for The New York Times on Nov. 25, 2012 about Christmas horror movies in the article "Ho, Ho, Homicide: Killer Santa Is Back."

A lively and engaging speaker, she has appeared in two television specials as a commentator on Christmas entertainments. In 2010, she appeared in The Real Story of Christmas on the History Channel, and the TV Guide Network’s 25 Most Hilarious Holiday TV Moments. As an expert on Christmas TV movies, Wilson was invited to moderate the cast reunion for a screening of the 1971 TV movie The Homecoming in December 2011. The cast reunion for the 40th Anniversary of The Homecoming included members of the much-beloved TV series The Waltons

Wilson writes a regularly updated blog about Christmas on TV, from the popular to the rare, at www.ChristmasTVHistory.com. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram: @TistheSeasonTV. Right now, she's probably watching something awesome on TV.

She is currently at work on the second edition of the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV, scheduled for publication in 2022.


"Joanna Wilson is probably the foremost Christmas TV expert in the world."                                                                                                 --Emily VanDerWerff, Vox 

"Joanna Wilson has put more thought into the Christmas season on TV than any 10 people you know, and that's just bad-ass."
--Galactic Watercooler

"...the holiday TV guru..."
--Ed Robertson, TV Confidential 

"...you ARE the Christmas Expert in Residence, in my opinion..."
--John Kenneth Muir, Reflections on Cult Film and Classic Television 

"Joanna Wilson is the Ken Burns of Christmas TV” 
--Sir John Hargrave, author of The Mischief Maker's Manual

Praise for Wilson's books:

"I thought I'd seen just about every Christmas-themed television show out there. I was wrong. Joanna Wilson's Christmas TV Companion has sent me searching for all kinds of obscure oddments of which I had never heard and now can't wait to watch. In an engagingly amusing way, this book points out how versatile television has been in embracing, celebrating, satirizing, and abusing this single holiday." --Robert Thompson, Director, Bleier Center of Television & Popular Culture, Syracuse University

About Tis the Season TV:
"In the works since 2002, Wilson's compilation is the most comprehensive guide now available to Christmas-, Hanukkah-, Kwanzaa-, and New Year's themed TV." --Savannah Schroll Guz, Library Journal

About The Christmas TV Companion:
"From my appearance as a child actor on Dragnet to A Very Brady Christmas to my more recent musical performance on The Wiggles, this book contains an amazing wealth of Christmas TV splendor." --Barry Williams, Actor, Author and Performer

"The Christmas TV Companion is witty, breezy and fresh; it's written in an intimate style that is instantly likeable. I can't recommend this book highly enough but be warned--it will put you in the Christmas spirit!" --Billy Ingram, TVParty.com

About The Triple Dog Dare:
"As a true, die hard fan myself, I find it inspiring that one person would put so much time and effort into this holiday tradition that brings so much joy into so many homes! You know you're never really alone when you're watching the A Christmas Story marathon, millions of fans are always watching right along with you!" --Brian Jones, owner and founder of A Christmas Story House and Museum

"Even if you don’t give a hoot about Christmas and haven’t seen A Christmas Story seven million times, you may find The Triple Dog Dare shockingly charming." --Megan Volpert, PopMatters

Cleveland NPR Sound of Ideas (2016)

Selected Interviews, Appearances, and Press

Interview: Ideastream 90.3 NPR (Cleveland radio)/simulcast PBS TV, December 2016 
Interview on RadioOnceMore.com, "At Home with Holmsey," 2013-2017
Contributor: TV Confidential #213, December 2013
Interview: Cleveland Connection, 102.1 WDOK Cleveland radio, December 2009

Reel Travels: #8 Author Joanna Wilson, with Lisa Iannucci (2018)
Christmas Past: Episode #16: Golden Age of Christmas TV Cartoons, with Brian Earl (2017)
Weird Christmas: WC#5: Weird Christmas TV and Movies with Joanna Wilson (2017)
TV Guidance Counselor with Ken Reid: #139 (11/22/2016)
Galactic Watercooler: #302 (Dec. 2011), and #303 (Dec. 2011)

Fox8 News (Cleveland, OH) Morning show live from A Christmas Story House (2017)
The Real Story of Christmas (commentator), The History Channel (2010)
25 Most Hilarious Holiday TV Moments (commentator), TV Guide Network (2010)

2018 North Canton Public Library speaking engagement

Author Speaking Appearances and Book Signings:
Library Programs: 
North Canton Public Library (2017), (2018)
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Nordonia Hills branch), Akron OH (2010), (2017)
Reed Memorial Library, Ravenna OH (2013)
Augusta Public Library, Augusta GA (2010)
Columbus Public Library, Columbus GA (2010)

Independent Bookstore appearances:
Boswell Books, Milwaukee WI (2010)
The Book Cellar, Chicago IL (2010)
Chop Suey Books, Richmond VA (2010)
Taylor Books, Charleston WV (2010)
Mudsock Books and Curiosity Shoppe, Indianapolis, IN (2010)
Park Road Books, Charlotte NC (2010)
Ukazoo Books, Baltimore MD (2010)

Other Author Appearances/Book signings:

Christmas Con (November 2019) panel speaker about Christmas TV Movies
Dark Xmas (November 2018)
Holiday Screening of A Christmas Story, Byrd Theatre, Richmond VA (2017)
Rubber City Pop Culture Fest (2017)
Genghis Khan: Independent Print Media Convention, Cleveland, OH (2017)
Blue Arrow Records/Christmas in March, with filmmaker of Jingle Bell Rocks, Mitchell Kezin, Cleveland OH (2014)
The Hollywood Show in Chicago, IL (2013)
Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention (2013)
Special Guest: Holiday Screening of Home Alone, Plaza Cinemas at Chapel Hill, Akron Ohio (2012)
Official co-sponsor: Santa Hustle 5K & Half Marathon, Cedar Point, Sandusky Ohio (2012)
Square Records, Akron Ohio (2009, 2010, 2011, 2017)

Additional Speaking Engagements:
Slide Jam presenter: "My Adventures as a Christmas Entertainment Writer," Akron Art Museum (2014)
Seminar Speaker: Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention "Entertaining Spirits: The Many TV Adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol" (2013)
Guest Storyteller: Family Literacy Night, DeWitt Elementary School, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (2012)
Guest Moderator: The Waltons cast reunion and 40th Anniversary celebration (2011)
Guest Lecturer: Barberton High School, Barberton, Ohio “How to Be a Research Writer” (2011)
Workshop Instructor: Akron Film + Pixel Festival  “How to Read A Film” (2009), “How to Read A Film: Deconstructing Hitchcock’s Psycho” (2010)

With Fox8 (Cleveland, OH) news anchors morning show, 11/14/2017


Thrillist (2022) "The 'A Christmas Story' House Is an Enduring Pop-Culture Landmark in Cleveland" by Annie Zalecki 

Vox (2019) "The Commercialization of the Commercialization of Christmas: My Thoughts on Christmas Con, Hallmark, and the Eternal War Over Christmas Past" by Emily VanDerWerff
Huffington Post (2017) "Feel-Good Stories All Year Long is the Formula at UP TV" by Marc Berman
PopMatters (2016) "Surprising Results from a Marathon Viewing of 'A Christmas Story'" by Megan Volpert
The Retroist (2013) "Interview with Author Joanna Wilson" by Caseen Gaines, book author of A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic
New York Times (2012) "Ho, Ho, Homocide: Killer Santa is Back in Silent Night" by Erik Piepenburg
Chicago Gapers Block (2010) "Author Joanna Wilson, Your Christmas TV Companion" by Amy Ganser
OnMilwaukee.com (2010) "On Media: A Serious Interest in Holiday Television" by Tim Cuprisin
Charleston Daily Mail (2010) "Author is the Ghost of Christmas TV Specials Past" by Monica Orosz
Youngstown Vindicator (2009) "Ex-Valley Resident Compiles TV Guide to Holiday Specials" by Elise Franco

Contributing Writer/Guest Blogger:
Member Classic TV Blog Association
Guest Contributor to INSP TV network blog: (12/03/2012) 12 Days of Christmas--Treasured Movies for your Holiday Entertainment, and
(12/06/2012) Classic Christmas Episodes from Your Favorite TV Series on INSP
Guest Contributor to Holiday Film Reviews: TV movie An American Christmas Carol (2012),
 1967 Christmas episode of Bewitched (2013)
Guest Contributor to Kindertrauma (2011) All in the Family Christmas episode “Edith’s Crisis of Faith”
Guest Contributor to Made For TV Mayhem (2010) Christmas TV movie The Gathering

Book club and reading group guide available upon request.

To contact Joanna Wilson about this blog: Joanna@1701Press.com

Joanna Wilson is available for speaking engagements, lectures, and consultations. Please contact: Dominic@1701Press.com