The holiday season is here once again with Christmas just around the corner. Last year at this time I wrote about the onslaught of holiday programming that hits our televisions during this time. Tonight, the classic “It's A Wonderful Life” is airing on NBC and beginning on Christmas Eve, TBS will run its annual 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story”. All the other Yuletide movies are there for your viewing pleasure as well. My personal favorite is the underrated “We’re No Angels” starring Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov.
That’s just the movies; there are still the TV programs to be considered.
Being more of a television-guy than a movie-guy, I have seen my share of Christmas-themed episodes on the tube. TV Land has a marathon starting tomorrow at 5:00 am. It kicks off with Roseanne and concludes at midnight with 3rd Rock.
Sandwiched in between are multiple installments of Three’s Company, The Brady Bunch, Good Times, Sanford And Son, All In The Family, Married With Children and The Beverley Hillbillies. There is even a 2-hour chunk of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for you Ty Pennington fans.
Over nineteen hours of holiday sitcom programs that aren’t really among my favorites. I preferred it when shows like The Bob Newhart Show, Cheers, Becker and The Dick Van Dyke Show went all merry and mirthful. You could even give me Frank Costanza celebrating Festivus with the gang on Seinfeld.
The TV Land marathon would be much improved if they mixed in some of these programs. Sanford And Son? Come on.
My biggest disappointment with the marathon’s lineup is the fact that it does not include the Andy Griffith episode entitled "The Christmas Story". Mayberry’s version of Ebenezer Scrooge will surely warm the cockles of your heart. I know each time I watch it my cockles get toasty.
Here is a quick synopsis:
On Christmas Eve, ornery department store owner Ben Weaver insists that Andy lock up moonshiner Sam Muggins. Weaver has brought along a jug of moonshine as evidence of Sam's wrongdoing.
In order to keep Weaver off his back and still have the party they had planned, Andy arrests Sam's wife and children as "accessories before, during, and after the fact", and deputizes Ellie, Opie, and Aunt Bee to help watch the prisoners.
With the Muggins family in jail, Andy, Barney and their deputies prepare a feast with all the trimmings for the family and decorate a Christmas tree. Everyone is having a good time except Ben.
Peeping through the jailhouse window, Weaver is touched when he sees everyone having a good time. Touched with the Christmas spirit, the crotchety store owner tries to get himself arrested in order to join the fun.
After several failed attempts, Andy finally arrests Weaver, after he dumps a garbage can in the alley. Together, the men appear at the door of the jail with a suitcase full of gaily-wrapped gifts from Weaver's store. Weaver is welcomed and regaled with food and drink. He falls asleep in one of the jail cells after finishing the jug of Sam's moonshine.
TV Land will be airing this all-time favorite of mine, but not until Christmas Eve at 7:30 pm and on Christmas Day at 10:00 am. Maybe there is something to be said for anticipation making the reward even greater.
During this festive season, I hope that you all have the opportunity to view your favorite holiday programming. Whether it’s a movie or a TV sitcom, take a break from all the shopping, wrapping and partying and do yourself a favor and make time to enjoy it.
Happy holidays! And don’t forget to catch Andy Griffith’s version of “The Christmas Story” and see Barney Fife dressed as Santa Claus. Until next time…ho, ho, ho from the booth.