Thursday, April 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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TV Christmas specials rang in the season

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From page A2 | December 13, 2013 | Leave Comment

Growing up, getting into the yuletide spirit at the Wade house meant not missing the annual TV Christmas specials. The stop-motion Rankin/Bass ones such as “The Year Without a Santa Claus” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” topped my list of favorites, but animated ones such as “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman”  and, of course, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” ranked high as well.

Some memories:

  • I remember crying when Frosty the Snowman melted in the greenhouse, then dancing triumphantly and singing the theme song when he was resurrected.
  • My fave parts of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” as a kid were when the Peanuts gang were doing those hysterical dances at the rehearsal, the iconic score by Vince Guraldi, and the touching speech delivered by Linus.
  • The part of “A Christmas Story” that makes me howl with laughter each year is when Ralphie gets his mouth washed out with Lifebuoy for dropping an f-bomb, then lies and says he heard the word from a friend. Ralphie’s mom calls the innocent friend’s mom and you hear her through the receiver screaming, marching down the hall and whupping her son who protests his innocence.

Other local residents recalled their faves:

Gina Huggins: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was my favorite. You could never make a Christmas special for kids like that today that would air on mainstream TV due to political correctness, but I am so glad they made it when they did and still air it.

Paula Lindsey: I always loved watching the Andy Williams Christmas specials. Besides just being good entertainment, it was like bringing family into our home. We got to watch Andy’s family grow over the years. And of course those cute Osmonds multiplied and grew before our eyes. It was family TV time for us. Bing Crosby’s Christmas special was another one we all looked forward to.

Jamie Romano: Us kids would have to hurry up and take a bath and put on our pajamas (bedtime did not change) and race to the couch for a supreme spot. Mom checked behind the ears, and if you weren’t thorough you lost your spot. Since I was one of the youngest, I had to go to bed earlier – sometimes before the program was over. When that happened, I would sneak back and finish watching it behind a chair.

Gina Conyers Antonelli: The kids and I just watched “Frosty the Snowman” last Friday night, and while my son Tanner did watch he made it clear it was a “baby movie.”

Andy Cooper: I was waiting for someone to come over one night during the Christmas season and there was this movie on about some kid named Ralphie who wanted a Red Ryder BB Gun – the same one that probably half of the boys I grew up with had! He kept getting the old “You’ll shoot your eye out” speech from his Mom, and I was dumbfounded! Someone had made a movie about my childhood! Anyway, my ride showed up, and I left the house thinking I would probably never see this cool movie again. Turns out the movie, “A Christmas Story,” was showing for the first time and has since become a classic!

Diana Lynn Paladin: I still watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Boris Karloff was perfect as the narrator. I loved the songs, and Max the dog reminds me of a dog my family had. My sister’s name is Cindy and she had to endure being called “Cindy Lou Who” for a long time because of that show.

Carl Lamera: In our neighborhood, “The Year Without A Santa Claus” ruled the Christmas specials by far. There would be so much buzz about it before it came on TV. Kids in school would talk about what time and what channel it was on as soon as the TV Guide came out. Playground boxing would occur the next day over who was better, Heat Miser or Snow Miser. I’ve never understood the Snow Worshiper’s point. Everyone knows heat melts snow.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at tonybethkaci@gmail.com.

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
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